The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme was launched on 31st March 2015. I, together with my Government colleagues, am committed to ensuring that the commemorations to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising will be inclusive, appropriate and respectful. The relatives of those who fought and those who died during the Rising will play a key role in the Centenary Programme and I am actively engaging with them to ensure that will have a central involvement in a number of key State events. I have met with a number of relatives, including representatives of relatives’ groups and individual relatives, to highlight the important role that they will have in the plans to commemorate the centenary of the events of Easter 1916. Officials from my Department and from the Department of the Taoiseach meet with representatives of the 1916 Relatives Association on a regular basis, in order to brief them on key aspects of the State's plans to commemorate 1916 and to seek their views, particularly in relation to planning for the State Ceremonial events taking place. In addition to this forum, a new group is being established by Dublin City Council to consult more widely with relatives on issues concerning Moore Street.
Officials in my Department are also liaising with the Department of Defence in relation to matters regarding relatives, including the compilation of lists of relatives for the official events being organised to commemorate the centenary of 1916.
Relatives who have not already applied to attend the State Ceremony and Parade, which will take place at the GPO on Easter Sunday, 27th March 2016, and other official events, can return their completed application forms to the Department of Defence before Wednesday, 30th September 2015. Further details in this regard are available on the website of the Department of Defence, www.defence.ie.