A ceremony will take place on New Year’s Day, Jan 1 2016, to mark the start of Ireland’s State Ceremonial Program in 2016.

The ceremony will be attended by the President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Dublin’s Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys. The event, to take place at 1pm (Irish time) will comprise two key elements - the reading by the Defence Forces of the roll of honor of those volunteers who lost their lives during the 1916 Rising, followed by a flag raising ceremony.

This will involve the raising of the three flags which were flown on O'Connell Street in Easter 1916 - the Irish Citizens Army Flag which was flown from the Imperial Hotel on O'Connell Street; the Irish Republican Flag and the National Flag which were both flown from the GPO . The ceremony will conclude with the playing of the National Anthem. Music will be provided by the Military Band and the RTÉ Cór na nÓg choir.

Invited guests will include representatives of the State and relatives of those who lost their lives in the 1916 Rising.

Ireland 2016, the State Ceremonial Program, is a year-long program of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on Ireland’s achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards the country’s future. The programme includes seven strands; State Ceremonial; Historical Reflection; An Teanga Bheo/The Living Language; Youth and Imagination; Cultural Expression; Community Participation; Global and Diaspora.

Highlights include:

· A major exhibition of 1916 archival material at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks

· ‘Proclamation Day’, which will be held in all schools on March 15th 2016

· The National Flag and a copy of the Proclamation will be delivered to every school in the country

· A series of State commemorative events, including a parade from Dublin Castle to Parnell Square on Easter Sunday 2016 and a special State Reception for relatives

· 7 new public projects at the GPO, Kilmainham Gaol, Pearse’s Cottage, the Military Archives and other sites

· A multi-location public event, to be broadcast on television on Easter Monday 2016, telling the story of Ireland, through music, dance, drama and song

· A series of conferences on 1916 through our universities

· Cultural events around the globe, to be co-ordinated through our embassies and Culture Ireland, including Irish cultural festivals in Washington and London.