Northern Ireland

1916 Easter Rising: NI party leaders set for invite to centenary commemorations

Irish soldiers at a state centenary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption A number of state events, like this one in Dublin, will be held to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising

Northern Ireland's main political parties and the British ambassador in Dublin are to be invited to the Irish government's official ceremony to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The Democratic Unionist Party have already indicated they will not attend.

Heather Humphreys, the Irish minister overseeing the commemorations, was asked whether members of the Royal family would be asked to attend.

She said there were no plans to invite any heads of state to the ceremony.

Instead, it is likely that the British ambassador in Dublin will attend the Easter Monday event.

Image caption Irish government minister Heather Humphreys said there were no plans to invite heads of state to the official Easter Rising commemoration

An embassy spokesperson said: "We expect the UK will be represented at particular events, including the official state ceremonial of the Easter Rising in Ireland, by the British ambassador to Ireland, Mr Dominick Chilcott."

Ms Humphreys was at a Presbyterian Church conference in Belfast on Thursday that explored the legacy of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

The Easter Rising was a republican rebellion that lasted from 24 April to 30 April 1916.

Its aim was to end British rule in Ireland and to establish an independent Ireland as a republic.

Despite its failure, the rising is seen by many as being a significant stepping-stone in the eventual creation of the Republic of Ireland.

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