Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins led the national Day of Commemoration ceremony this morning at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin. Similar ceremonies took place at seven other locations across the state. The multi-faith and military ceremonies honoured all Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in wars or on service with the United Nations. The Dublin event was attended by the President, the Taoiseach, the Government and Council of State, as well as members of the diplomatic corps, Defence Forces, veterans’ organisations, the judiciary and Northern Ireland representatives. In this latter category it was interesting to note the presence of the Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt along with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir of Sinn Féin.
I watched the service which was broadcast live on RTE1 television. The military part of the ceremony was carried out with great precision and the music played by the Army No.1 Band under the baton of Lt Col. Mark Armstrong added to the solemnity of the occasion.