Top RoI figure lays wreath for UK soldiers killed in 1916 Easter Rising

Members of the Royal Irish Regiment and members of the Irish defence forces hold wreaths during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Members of the Royal Irish Regiment and members of the Irish defence forces hold wreaths during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has laid a wreath in memory of more than 100 British soldiers killed trying to suppress the Easter Rising.

A lone protester at the State ceremony in Dublin’s Grangegorman Military Cemetery was arrested for briefly disrupting the service.

British Ambassador to Dublin Dominick Chilcott after laying a wreath during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British Ambassador to Dublin Dominick Chilcott after laying a wreath during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The man in his mid-40s began shouting “this is an insult” at the start of the invite-only event at around midday and was quickly detained on suspected public order offences. [See dramatic pics of the protest being stopped by a hero Canadian diplomat here]

As many as 125 soldiers of the British Armed Forces died during the 1916 rebellion against British rule a century ago this year.

They came from across Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and further afield.

The ceremony commemorating their deaths is one of a number organised to mark the 100th anniversary of the insurrection, which ultimately led to the creation of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

A lone protestor is arrested during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A lone protestor is arrested during a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British Ambassador to Dublin Dominick Chilcott also laid a wreath on behalf of the British Government.

Relatives of the British soldiers who died were also in attendance.

Mr Flanagan said the service was about recognising the many different narratives and experiences in one of the most defining episodes of recent Irish history.

“Like those that died a hundred years ago, those of us participating in today’s event are a diverse group of individuals, with different backgrounds, beliefs and aspirations,” he said.

Retired Colonel David Maitland-Tiddleton of the Royal Lancers prepares to lay a wreath following a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Retired Colonel David Maitland-Tiddleton of the Royal Lancers prepares to lay a wreath following a State ceremony to remember the British soldiers who died during the Easter Rising at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

“Such differences do not divide us and need not hinder us from coming together to reflect upon the moments that have shaped our islands’ history.

“In the century since the events of 1916 we have learned, through painful experience, the importance of mutual respect for the different traditions and multiple narratives across these islands.”

Members of both the Irish Defence Forces and the British Armed Forces participated in the ceremony.