AN Easter Sunday military parade to commemorate the 1916 Rising will become a regular event, the government has confirmed.
The parade in central Dublin today to mark the 90th anniversary of the rebellion is the first in over 30 years.
A spokesman for the Department of the Taoiseach said this weekend that the government plans to hold similar events in the run-in to the Easter Rising's centenary in 2016.
Over 2,500 members of the defence forces will participate in today's parade, which leaves Dublin Castle at 11.30am. The parade will proceed along Dame Street past the front of Trinity College and on to Westmoreland Street. After passing viewing stands outside the GPO on O'Connell Street the parade will end on Parnell Street.
The official ceremony at the GPO is due to start at 12 noon when the tricolour will be lowered to half mast.
Sean O Riada's 'Mise Eire' will be played by the Army No 1 Band while the President Mary McAleese will lay a commemorative wreath. The 'Last Post' will sound before a minute's silence in memory of those who died in the rebellion. The tricolour will then be returned to full mast as the national anthem is played. The proclamation will also be read by a member of the defence forces.
Almost 900 invited guests will observe the parade from the GPO viewing stands. The defence forces press office hopes that 100,000 spectators will watch the event.
Organisers say the best viewing spots will be before the parade moves onto O'Connell Street. Large screens, which have been positioned at a number of locations along the route, will transmit RTE's live coverage of the parade. Traffic restrictions were put in place in Dublin city centre last night. Gardai are advising motorists to avoid the area today although it is hoped all the restrictions will be lifted by 6pm this evening.
A large garda presence is expected in order to prevent a repeat of the scenes witnessed in February arising from a loyalist parade in Dublin city centre. A protest march against the war in Iraq is also due to be held at Baldonnel Aerdome this afternoon. "This celebration [1916 parade] of resistance to British imperialism is being funded by the Irish taxpayer, the same people who are paying for the murderous forces of the US military to use Baldonnel and Shannon airport, " the organisers said.