Thousands of people are expected to take part in a range of special commemorative events, performances and ceremonies across the country this weekend to mark the calendar centenary on the 24th of April of the beginning of the 1916 Rising, according to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys TD.

Following on the success of the Easter weekend commemorative events, which were attended by over a million people, communities across the country will host their own ceremonies and celebrations this weekend, as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

The annual 1916 State Commemoration will take place at Arbour Hill on Sunday morning at 10am. Following a Requiem Mass, an inter-faith service and ceremony will take place at the graveside of the 14 executed leaders. President Michael D. Higgins will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland. The event will be televised live by RTE and the public can view the ceremony on large public screens at the venue. Special Flag Raising ceremonies are scheduled to take place in Fingal, Longford, Louth, Roscommon and Waterford, as well as the opening of a number of newly commissioned commemorative gardens, all of which are open to the public. On Sunday afternoon, all roads lead to Croke Park. The GAA has commissioned a major large-scale innovative theatre event with dance, song, poetry and pageantry to commemorate the 1916 Rising. The event, Laochra, will be staged after the Allianz League Division One and Two Football Finals.

Speaking ahead of the weekend Minister 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.”

Ireland 2016 is inviting everyone, whether you are 7 or 70, to take a snapshot of their lives sometime between 12 noon on Sunday April 24 and 12 noon on Monday April 25. In partnership with the Irish Independent, 24 Hours in Ireland aims to capture the full breadth of Irish life on this special historic day – the calendar centenary of the Rising. A selection of images will be included in a special limited edition supplement to mark the occasion.

Highlights of some of the events taking place around the country over the weekend include:

· Sinead McCoole, acclaimed author, historian and curator of the Mna 1916 - Women of 1916 exhibition at the Coach House (Dublin Castle) will give a talk on some of the 300 extraordinary young women who took part in the Rising. 1.15pm Admission Free

· The Souvenir Shop, an art installation by Rita Duffy and curated by Helen Carey, one of the major projects commissioned by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Art 1916-2016 marking the centenary of the 1916 Rebellion, will open on the 24th April. Located in 13 North Great George’s Street, the ‘shop’ will sell everyday life props which the artist has recreated using popular signifiers of the rebellion. 2pm to 5pm Admission Free

· Fingal will host a day-long event in Swords Castle on the 24th which includes a parade, re-enactments, marching bands, dance, a food court, an exhibition, fire-works, reading of the Proclamation, flag raising and launching of the public arts commission. A highlight of the event will be Rothaíocht na mBan, a cycle by a group of women in period costume, to commemorate the contribution of women in Fingal to the events of 1916.

· 1916 Commemoration Weekend will take place in Tralee, County Kerry including a concert in the Square, Fair Day and historical walk from Blennerville to Tralee, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Cahill’s Monument.

· A wreath laying ceremony will take place at the 1916 Commemoration Monument in Limerick City at 11.30am on the 24th, followed by the opening of Memorial Gardens at the Civic Offices (11am) and the Area Office Kilmallock (3.30pm).

· A special Day of Commemoration will take place in Sligo on the 24th which includes a parade to City Hall where there will be a flag raising and reading of the Proclamation; followed by Music Rising which includes a performance by Michael Rooney and Sligo Academy of Music Folk Orchestra. A Civic reception will be hosted by Sligo County Council in Sligo Park Hotel for the descendants of the Sligo families involved in the 1916 Rising at 5pm. The day ends with a fire-works extravaganza at 9.30pm.

· On the 24th The Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray will host Irish Destiny, a cine-concert presented by the Irish Film Institute, with grand piano accompaniment by Micheál Ó Suilleabháin. This silent feature drama was released on Easter Sunday 1926, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

Full details of all the events taking place are available at