The centenary of the Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park has been commemorated in a moving ceremony at the stadium this evening.
resident Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin were welcomed to the venue by GAA president John Horan and GAA director general Tom Ryan.
Brendan Gleeson delivered a moving oration from Hill 16. As each of the 14 names of the victims were read out by the actor, a flame torch was lit in their memory.
Mr Gleeson, in a moving oration in which he named each of the 14 victims, stated: “Tonight we remember each victim and honour the grief carried by their families down through the decades. We hold the memory of their loved ones close, giving them life again through the sharing of their stories.
“They come alive again in the stadium in the 10 year old child thrilled by the prospect of a day in Croke Park, in the couple in love at a football game holding hands, lost in the game and each other.
“They live again in young people making their trip to Croke Park part of one long weekend adventure, they live through older ones going to the matches following the tradition handed down to them.
“ They are our family, our friends, our people.”
President Higgins laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland in honour of the 14 innocent people who lost their lives when security forces opened fire on people attending a Dublin-Tipperary football match on November 21, 1920.
The wreath was laid on the place on the field where Tipperary player Michael Hogan was fatally shot.
Wreaths were also laid by Mr Horan and Mr Ryan.
Composer Colm Mac Con Iomaire performed his musical composition ‘More Than A Game’ on Hill 16..
The ceremony took place before the Leinster Senior Football final between Dublin and Meath. The Dublin team wore commemorative centenary jerseys bearing the names of the 14 victims.
A statement issued on behalf of President Higgins referred also to the assassinations of British intelligence officers and military officers earlier that day in Dublin as well as the slaughter that followed in Croke Park.
He declared the deaths of 32 people that day, including three children, were a reminder “of the hard-earned peace to which we have become accustomed and the consequences that flow from the abuse of power and the failure of diplomacy and politics.”
“People from different backgrounds on the island may reflect on Bloody Sunday in different ways. We must respect this and be open to differing perspectives, and encourage a hospitality for these differing narratives,” he said.
Having courage to remember past events with honesty will help take responsibility for a shared and peaceful future together, he said.
Earlier today, Dublin City Councillor Nial Ring laid a wreath near the stadium where his grandfather Joseph Ring helped carry Joe Traynor, one of the spectators who was fatally shot.