Ireland’s National Day of Commemoration was celebrated yesterday, July 10th, at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Co. Dublin. Led by President Mary McAleese and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, there were approximately 1,000 people in attendance, encompassing retired military personnel and the families of those who had died in combat.
The ceremony was quite diverse in order to represent the cultural differences amongst Ireland as a whole. Three different acts of commemoration were performed by three different religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Ireland. In addition, a commemorative plaque on behalf of the Irish people was laid down, according to the Irish Times.
Various other leaders representing the Methodist Church, the Church of Ireland, the Jewish community, the Islamic community, and the Derry and Donegal Presbyter also read. Msgr Lorcan O’Brien of the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, said, “We pray also for peace in our world, for a future where enmity, injustice and division are healed and needless suffering is ended,” according to the Irish Times.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Justice and Defence Alan Shatter, Minister for Children’s Affairs Frances Fitzgerald, and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar also attended along with other political representatives.
Other events of the ceremony included a performance of Thomas Moore’s “Oft In The Stilly Night,” sung by Regina Nathan. Other music was conducted by Lieutanent Colonel Mark Armstrong and was “performed by the bands of the first Southern and four Western Brigades and the Defence Forces School of Music,” the Irish Times reported.
The ceremony came to a close when the national flag was raised, the national anthem, “Amhrán na bhFiann” played, and Air Corps planes flew overhead.