A former Presbyterian Moderator and Stormont’s Justice Minister are to be among the guests at a hugely symbolic Easter Rising commemorative event in Dublin tomorrow.
Former Moderator the Rev Dr Trevor Morrow will officially represent the church at the unveiling of a Remembrance Wall in Dublin to recall all 485 individuals who lost their lives during the 1916 rebellion.
Alliance leader and Justice Minister David Ford – who had pointedly refused to attend last weekend’s ‘celebration’ of the Rising in the Irish capital – will also attend tomorrow’s event, he confirmed last night.
It is believed that some unionist representatives could also be present for tomorrow’s ceremony, which will take place in Glasnevin Cemetery, the final resting place of some of the most significant figures in the history of both Irish nationalism and republicanism.
The event is one of several attempts by the Republic’s government to focus on the wider story of the events of 1916 and remember the lives of the soldiers, police officers and civilians who died alongside the rebels.
The obituary wall lists alphabetically the names of all civilians and members of the British Army, Dublin Metropolitan Police, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and Royal Irish Constabulary, without rank or organisation, who were killed as a result of the fighting a century ago.
Dr Morrow, the last Presbyterian Moderator from the Republic of Ireland, will be taking part in a Christian act of worship during the ceremony.
Dr Morrow said: “We recognise the historic importance of what took place in Dublin 100 years ago; a seminal event in the history of the establishment of the Irish Republic and one that has shaped the political landscape and relationships in these islands ever since.
“Having held a major conference on the Easter Rising and Battle of the Somme centenaries earlier this year, given the significance of this centenary, it was agreed in principle that the Church should be represented at an appropriate event organised by the State to mark the occasion.
“Having been formally invited to participate, in what we consider to be a measured and reflective event where we will remember those who lost their lives, it was felt appropriate that we should take part.”
The Glasnevin Wall will be unveiled adjacent to the graves of Ireland’s leaders.
The unveiling of the symbolic wall of remembrance will involve an inter-faith service. The Irish government said that it would include all the main faith organisations to which those who died in the Rising were adherents.
Mr Ford said that the wall is “a mature, respectful way to commemorate the events of Easter 1916”.
He said: “It is vital we explore the consequences of violence and do not seek to glorify it.”
He added that Alliance recognised the importance of this ‘decade of centenaries’ and “our attendance at commemorative events which uphold the principles of reconciliation and building a shared future reflects that”.