A national day of remembrance was held in Ireland on Sunday in honor of the more than 6,600 people who died from Covid-19 over the past two years.
President Michael D. Higgins began the day of remembrance and reflection by ringing the Peace Bell in Áras an Uachtaráin five times, paying tribute to those who died during the pandemic, to those who lost loved ones, to those who made sacrifices, and to those who still have Covid.
"Today we have to the forefront of our minds the more than half a million people in this country who lost loved ones during the pandemic, and all those, too, living abroad who have endured painful separation from loved ones at home in Ireland at times of great distress and grief," Higgins said in a speech on Sunday morning.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who is still isolating in Washington DC after testing positive for Covid-19, paid tribute to frontline workers in a statement on Sunday.
"Without hesitation and before we even understood the true nature or scale of the threat, they put themselves in harm's way to protect the rest of us," Martin said.
"Without complaint, they cared for our sickest and brought dignity and compassion to the most fraught and difficult situations."
The main ceremony of the day took place in Dublin's Garden of Remembrance. The ceremony paid tribute to those who died during the pandemic and those who contributed to the fight against Covid.
A specially commissioned poem was performed at the ceremony in addition to reflections from a hospital chaplain and a representative of the bereaved.
Representatives also laid wreaths at the garden's cruciform pool during the ceremony.
Most of those invited to attend the ceremony had lost loved ones during the pandemic or had worked on the frontline against the virus.
Similar events took place in each county over the weekend, while the Irish flag was flown at half-mast over all state buildings.