Northern Ireland

Easter Rising and Troubles dead remembered in Dublin church commemoration

Dublin Unitarian Church Image copyright Dublin Unitarian Church
Image caption It is the 16th year the Dublin church has held a "reading of the names" service for Troubles victims

All those who died in the Troubles and in the 1916 Easter Rising have been commemorated by a Dublin church.

Two separate religious services were held on Good Friday at the Dublin Unitarian Church in memory of "the dead of two conflicts in Ireland".

The names of the 485 people who died during the rising were read out at 11:15 local time on Friday morning.

At noon, for the 16th year, the names of more than 3,500 Troubles victims were also read out.

'Mournful lists'

They included the latest victim. Adrian Ismay, the prison officer who was murdered earlier this month in a dissident republican bomb attack in east Belfast.

A statement from the church said: "This double act of commemoration is the only religious service of its kind in Ireland."

It added: "These readings illustrate powerfully the terrible, random nature of death in war and civil conflict. All human life and death is in these mournful lists."

The names included Irish rebels, British soldiers, IRA members, loyalist paramilitaries, policemen and women, prison officers, civil rights marchers, judges and civilians, including many children.

It is the 16th year that the Dublin church has held a "reading of the names" service for all those who died as a result of the Northern Ireland conflict.

The tradition was started by the Reverend Chris Hudson, a leading member of the Peace Train movement, and has been continued by the current minister, the Reverend Bridget Spain.

She said a number of people who lost loved ones in the Troubles travel to the church every year to hear their names read out.

'Personal faith'

The congregation and members of the public were invited to take part in reciting the list.

Friday's ceremony was attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh from Sinn Féin, along with historians, broadcasters, campaign groups and relatives of those who died.

The Unitarian Church is on St Stephen's Green - a public park in the centre of the Irish capital that became a battleground during the Easter Rising.

It is affiliated to both the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland (Northern Ireland) and the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in the UK.

However, it describes itself as "not governed by either" and "an autonomous body in its own right" where the emphasis is on personal faith.

More on this story

Around the BBC