Irish police have estimated that more than 750,000 came into Dublin city center for “Reflecting the Rising” on Easter Monday, while several hundred thousand people attended the Easter Sunday parade and regional State commemorative events.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys paid tribute to all of those who helped to make such a success of the Easter weekend commemorative events, which were attended by more than one million people.
Humphreys said “The series of events staged over Easter weekend were the culmination of a huge amount of work across Government and indeed all arms of the State. The State commemorative events, attended by hundreds of thousands of people over the course of the weekend, went better than any of us could have imagined.
“Ireland 2016 was and continues to be a huge team effort. I would like to particularly thank our Defence Forces, who took center stage last weekend, and all of the members of An Garda Siochana (police), who ensured the events passed off without any major incidents. I would also like to thank RTE for the huge creative and logistical operation that was ‘Reflecting the Rising’. An estimated 750,000 people came into the city center to take part, making it the largest ever civic event staged in the capital. Thank you also to all of the artists and creatives who made the day so special.
“These were the citizen’s commemorations, and it is thanks to members of the public, who embraced the commemorative program so readily, that the events were such a resounding success. It was wonderful to see so many young people and families enjoying the public events over Easter weekend. The fact that so many people were able to participate in and enjoy the events is also a testament to efforts of the hundreds of volunteers who helped out, and to groups like the Civil Defence who were on hand to assist if needed.
“Of course, the commemorative events extended well beyond Dublin, with communities right across the country hosting their own ceremonies and celebrations, including the solemn wreath-layings which took place at a number of regional locations on Monday. It is my hope that the 2016 commemorations will leave a lasting and positive legacy. Last weekend, we all experienced Ireland coming together as a country which is incredibly proud of its national identity.
“The Ireland 2016 Centenary program will continue through 2016. Many more commemorative events are planned in the coming weeks and months, and as we move into the latter part of the year, we will look forward, to re-imagine our future and ask ourselves what we want for Ireland in the next 100 years.”