The centenary of the Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park was commemorated in a moving ceremony at the stadium yesterday.
President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin were welcomed to the venue by GAA president John Horan and GAA director general Tom Ryan.
Brendan Gleeson delivered an oration from Hill 16. As each of the 14 names of the victims was read out by the actor, a flame torch was lit in their memory.
President Higgins laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland in honour of the 14 innocent people who lost their lives when security forces opened fire on people attending a Dublin-Tipperary football match on November 21, 1920.
The wreath was laid on the place on the field where Tipperary player Michael Hogan was fatally shot.
Wreaths were also laid by Mr Horan and Mr Ryan.
Composer Colm Mac Con Iomaire performed his musical composition More Than A Game on Hill 16.
The ceremony took place before the Leinster Senior Football final between Dublin and Meath. The Dublin team wore commemorative centenary jerseys bearing the names of the 14 victims.
A statement issued on behalf of President Higgins referred also to the assassinations of British intelligence officers and military officers earlier that day in Dublin as well as the slaughter that followed in Croke Park.
He declared the deaths of 32 people that day, including three children, were a reminder “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,” he said.
Having courage to remember past events with honesty will help take responsibility for a shared and peaceful future together, he said.
Earlier yesterday, Dublin city councillor Nial Ring laid a wreath near the stadium where his grandfather Joseph Ring helped carry Joe Traynor, one of the spectators who was fatally shot.
Analysis, pages 26-27
Source: Irish News