THE CENTENARY of the end of Ireland's War of Independence has been marked with a sombre ceremony in Dublin.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, other top politicians and relatives of those who died in the 1916 Easter Rising were in attendance at Dublin's Collins Barracks this morning for the event.
Officially, the event-- the National Day of Commemoration-- is held to honour all Irish men and women who died in past wars or while on service with the United Nations or peacekeeping duties, including in both World Wars.
This year, the event fell on Sunday, 11 July 2021-- exactly 100 years since the 1921 truce which marked the end of the Irish War of Independence.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin took to social media where he shared images of the ceremony, along with a short statement which read:
"On this day we recall the Truce which came into effect 100 years ago.
"In particularly, we remember those who died in the War of Independence and subsequent conflict on this island."
On this day we recall the Truce which came into effect 100 years ago.
In particular, we remember those who died in the War of Independence and subsequent conflict on this island.#NationalDayOfCommemoration pic.twitter.com/TBxKkpoMOr
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 11, 2021
As has been the norm over the past 16 months, the event adhered to social distancing measures and current restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In a speech, the President of Ireland paid tribute to all those who fought, died and were affected by the War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War, calling the Truce "a significant event in the Decade of Commemorations".
"Reflecting on the Truce, which was agreed 100 years ago, it is appropriate to recall how the people in the streets of villages, towns and cities hoped and prayed for peace," he said.
"As they gathered, anticipating, hoping for a truce that would lead to an enduring peace, they were carrying the grief of the 1918 flu epidemic; and ahead would be the tragic experience of the Civil War.
"The signing of a Truce between the combatants is an event that should be commemorated as a thirst for peace deferred. So many lives and so much suffering could have been spared had the democratic will as expressed by the people been respected," President Higgins said.
Supreme Commander of #óglaighnahéireann @PresidentIRL Michael D Higgins reviews the Guard of Honour from 27th Infantry Battalion @Aiken_Barracks at the National Day of Commemoration @NMIreland Collins Barracks, Dublin. #strengthenthenation pic.twitter.com/YdNVkxNISD
— Óglaigh na hÉireann (@defenceforces) July 11, 2021
Following the speech, President Michael D Higgins marked the occasion by laying a wreath in memory of all those who died, with a minute's silence then observed by all in attendance.
The centenary was also marked with an Air Corps flypast, RTÉ News reports.