Wreath-laying ceremony opens Easter weekend commemorations

President Michael D Higgins led the ceremony this afternoon

Ireland has officially begun commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising.

President Michael D Higgins has led a wreath laying ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin this lunchtime.

Relatives of those who died in the revolution against British rule joined political leaders at the event, where they held a minute's silence.

Muriel McAuley, granddaughter of Thomas McDonagh, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation of Independence, read a letter written by Padraig Pearse from Kilmainham Gaol at the ceremony:

Granddaughter of James Connolly, Margaret Connolly traveled from San Francisco in the US to be here for this weekend's commemoration.

She reflected on the changes that have happened in Ireland since her grandfather as alive:

Meanwhile the former head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Network says it's important women take note of the ideals of the proclamation.

Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, who is running in the Seanad Elections, says we still have a long way to go in ensuring equality in Ireland:

However Northern Ireland's First Minister, Arlene Foster, has said she won't be attending any of the commemorations.