IRISH premier Bertie Ahern said he hoped parades would mark the Easter Rising each year until the centenary in ten years' time as 120,000 people thronged Dublin's streets in tribute to those who fought and died for Irish freedom.
In the largest military display in memory of the fallen heroes of 1916, and the first since 1971, 2,500 Defence Forces personnel marched through the capital. Soldiers of the Irish Defence Forces are pictured marching down O'Connell Street in Dublin during the parade.
More than 2,500 Irish military personnel, some saluting atop tanks and others marching with fixed bayonets, paraded past the bullet-scarred spot where rebels launched a fateful Easter 1916 rebellion against British rule. It was the first such commemoration in four decades because of official sensitivities over IRA bloodshed. (AP Photo/John Coghill)
In a solemn and respectful memorial to all those killed in the bloody battles of the Rising, President Mary McAleese laid a wreath at the front of the GPO - the focal point of the rebellion.
Mr Ahern and the President looked on as the tricolour above the iconic building was lowered to half mast and Captain Tom Ryan, of the sixth Infantry Battalion, re-enacted the reading of the Proclamation of the Republic.
As relatives of the rebels gathered after the parade, an emotional Bertie Ahern told reporters he was reminded of the sacrifice hundreds of men and women committed to in order to liberate the nation.
"My most moving moment of the day was when I laid a wreath in Stonebreaker's Yard in Kilmainham, which carried a chilling reminder of the execution of the 1916 leaders there 90 years ago," he said.