Irish leaders to honour 14 victims of Bloody Sunday at remembrance ceremony marking centenary
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Irish leaders to honour 14 victims of Bloody Sunday at remembrance ceremony marking centenary

THE GAA is staging a remembrance ceremony to honour the 14 victims killed at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday exactly a century ago on November 21, 1920. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and President Michael D Higgins will both be present at the event, which will see 14 flames lit on Hill 16 alongside a pillar of light for each of those individuals who died. 

The commemoration will take place ahead of the Leinster football final between Dublin and Meath. 

Originally, the ceremony has been set to take place in front of a packed Croke Park and prior to a rugby international between Ireland and Australia. 

However, as a result of Ireland’s Covid-19 restrictions the event will now take place inside a largely empty Croke Park in a move that will add a special solemnity to the occasion. 

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President Higgins will lay a wreath to commemorate the 14 people who died while attending a football match between Dublin and Tipperarary. 

“At the close of that day of such killing and injury 100 years ago, 32 people, three of them children, lay dead or dying in Dublin,” he said in a statement. 

Countless others were wounded, many with their lives irrevocably changed as a result of the events of the day. More death and heartbreak was to follow. 

President Higgins noted that a hundred years on, the death and suffering experienced that day is still recalled with a “profound sadness, and outrage even”. 

He said that Bloody Sunday serves as “a reminder of the fragility of the hard-earned peace to which we have become accustomed and the consequences that flow from the abuse of power and the failure of diplomacy and politics”. 

“People from different backgrounds on the island may reflect on Bloody Sunday in different ways. We must respect this and be open to differing perspectives, and encourage a hospitality for these differing narratives of the events of that day.” 

As part of the ceremony, GAA director-general Tom Ryan and president John Horan will also lay wreaths on an area of the playing field in front of Gate 43 at the northern end, where Tipperary corner-back Michael Hogan was tragically shot and killed that day. 

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The ceremony is due to take place at 6:05pm with a minute’s silence also set to be observed at all GAA Championship matches this weekend. 

As part of the centenary commemorations, the GAA has asked that members across Ireland pay their own respects by lighting a candle to remember those who died.