Dozens of special commemorative events are taking place today across both Ireland and the US, as communities gather to mark the calendar centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Ireland's main State commemorations were held over the Easter weekendlate last month, with the huge 700,000-strong crowd that packed into Dublin on Easter Monday providing a fitting finale to the celebrations- and one that in terms of levels of attendance for a cultural event was second only to the visit of Pope John Paul II nearly 40 years ago.

Ireland decided to host its main celebrations of the historic event over Easter because the Rising took place on that holiday.  But the actual date was April 24, 1916 - and many cities and towns in the US with strong Irish links have instead chosen to mark their anniversary celebrations this weekend.

However, many more ceremonies were staged across Ireland yesterday - with thousands more people expected to attend a host of further commemorative events today.

The annual 1916 State Commemoration takes place this morning at 10am Irish time at Arbour Hill in Dublin.
Following a requiem Mass, an inter-faith service and ceremony - which will be attended by President Michael D. Higgins and members of thegovernment - will be hosted at the graveside of the 14 executed leaders.

Later this afternoon in the Irish capital a Reclaim 1916 march will make its way to the GPO, where actor Adrian Dunbar will host a festival of music, dance and readings.

The GAA will also mark the centenary in Dublin's Croke Park stadium this afternoon, with 'Laocrhra,' which has been billed as a "live event celebrating our national identity."

Elsewhere across the country, special flag raising ceremonies are scheduled to take place in Fingal, Longford, Louth, Roscommon and Waterford.

Meanwhile, Thomas Traynor, who served under Eamon de Valera during Easter 1916, will be remembered in his native Tullow, Co. Carlow. And hundreds are expected to turn out in Sligo later today for a civic reception, which will include a re-enactment of the reading of the Proclamation and the unveiling of a specially-commissioned memorial to the county's participants in the Rising.

Speaking recently in the run-up to today's centenary commemorations,Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys said: "One hundred years ago this weekend, the Irish Volunteers were preparing to stage the Easter Rising, setting in chain a series of events which ultimately led to Irish independence.

"On Sunday we will solemnly remember the 1916 leaders who gave up their lives, before moving to the historic surrounds of Croke Park for 'Laochra,' which promises to be a spectacular celebration of our culture and the GAA movement over the last 100 years.

"A host of other events are also taking place across the country, as communities come together to remember the events of 1916."

A full listing of all the events taking place can be found at www.ireland.ie.

Easter Sunday 1916 Centenary parade passes the guests, politicians and press box at the GPO in 2016.RollingNews.ie