Re: Re: O’ Connell Street, Dublin

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Like those before her on the same spot. Mary McAleese stood for a salute, before inspecting the Guard of Honour.

Okay, so I missed a decent shot of the car, but I wasn’t gonna miss out on this opportunity. Bullseye!

And sorry, it just has to be said – Mary has the most marvellous hair in Ireland. If you walked into a fancy dress shop anywhere in the world and asked for a presidential quaff, this is what would be passed over the counter. A marvel indeed.

By contrast, I will not repeat various overheard remarks about the cut of that ravishing pink coat. One knows better than to dabble in the murky underworld of women’s fashion.

At noon, the Tricolour was lowered to half mast atop the GPO.

A sombre moment, somewhat deflated by the flag’s hoisting, not as one would expect by an immaculately turned out, medal-bedecked member of the Defence Forces – but by a short-sleeved Garda with a walkie-talkie and what appeared to be an aul lad in a fleece. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Two members of the Defence Forces then approached the centre of the portico to invite the President to lay a wreath in honour of those involved in the 1916 Rising.

A minute’s silence was then observed.

As an aside, it is worth noting that the BBC insists at civic events of this kind that all crew in public view or directly involved in the midst of an event are appropriately dressed for the occasion. As can be seen above, it was a typically zero-standards approach from RTÉ. This should not be tolerated by the Department of the Taoiseach, which manages all protocol.

The deliverance of links, the Proclamation, and various statements were superbly choreographed and eloquently stated by senior ranks of the Defence Forces.

The crowd listened on in the April sunshine. (A rare considerate touch was turning off the traffic signals).

About 3000 people gathered this year – a little down on previous years.

The Defence Forces then left ‘on parade’, concluding the ceremony.

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