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Irish Civil War: Ceremony in Dublin marks 100 years since end of conflict

Irish Civil War: Ceremony in Dublin marks 100 years since end of conflict

A ceremony to mark 100 years since the end of the Irish Civil War has been held in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Micheál Martin attended the event on Sunday alongside descendants of those killed during the Civil War.

Other figures at the commemoration included the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald and former SDLP leader Mark Durkan.

It is estimated that 1,600 people were killed in the conflict that ran from June 28th, 1922 – May 24th, 1923.

The Civil War began following the War of Independence and was fought between the Irish provisional government who supported the 1921 Anglo-Irish treaty, and the anti-treaty IRA.

The poem Peace by Patrick Kavanagh was read at the ceremony on Sunday which sought to highlight the power of music and culture in peace-building.

The Defence Forces featured heavily in the commemoration with the combined band of the forces playing Down By The Salley Gardens as part of the opening of the event.

Cadets also formed an honour guard around the Children of Lir monument in the centre of the garden.

The Taosieach and Tánaiste laid a wreath and a minute’s silence was held for victims of the Civil War.

The Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square was opened by President Eamon Devalera on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966.

The mosaic in the pool of the garden features broken swords and shields to symbolise the ancient tradition of throwing weapons into rivers at the end of a battle.

The event comes as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme initiated in 2012 by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The initiative, now in its final year, has celebrated the 100-year anniversary of a range of historical moments on the island of Ireland including the Centenary of the Ulster Covenant, the foundation of the Irish Volunteers, the 1916 Rising, the suffrage movement and the first sitting of the Dáil.