10,000 to turn out in Enniscorthy on Easter Monday
Enniscorthy will come to a standstill when an estimated 10,000 people descend on the town on Easter Monday and some careful planning will ensure it goes off without a hitch.
The celebration will commence with a parade at 11.30 a.m. but organisers are advising people to arrive early to find a spot. Anyone hoping to get a bird's eye view of the festivities will be sorely disappointed; the event has been declared a no fly zone and the use of drones is strictly forbidden.
The 1916 Centenary Parade will travel from St. Aidan's Cathedral to Abbey Square for the formal State Commemoration Ceremony. It promises to be a spectacular parade, with more than 800 participants, including hundreds of pikemen, re-enactors and relatives of 1916 volunteers, supported by a battalion of troops from the Irish Defence Forces, together with other uniformed participants and military band.
The Enniscorthy State Ceremonial Event will commence at Abbey Square at 12.15 p.m., though members of the public are requested to arrive before 11.45 a.m. It will kick off with a welcome by Chairperson Cllr Paddy Kavanagh and a keynote address by government representatives.
This will be followed by a reading of the Proclamation by a member of the Defence Forces at 1.03 p.m. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 1.10 p.m. which will be synchronised with many others nationwide. It will include a minute's silence, Piper's Lament, the Last Post, raising of the National Flag by the Defence Forces, Reveille and the National Anthem played by the Military Band with the Air Corps fly past.
Following the ceremony, there will be a musical performance from the 1916 Songs Project at 1.40 p.m. in Abbey Square; a recital of the Wexford 1916 poem at 2 p.m.; an introduction to the 1916 battle re-enactment at 2.10 p.m. and the re-enactment at 2.30 p.m. The ceremony is expected to conclude at approximately 3.15 p.m.
Large viewing screens and public address facilities will be located in Market Square and Abbey Square to ensure the public can access and enjoy the various elements of the day's celebrations. A designated area with a sign interpreter for the deaf will also be provided in Abbey Square.
All Wexford County Council parking will be free on the day. However, parking restrictions will be in place. Car parking space will be available in the following locations: 1798 Centre, The Rugby Club, The Show Grounds, Mart on the Old Dublin Road, Bellefield GAA, St Senan's Hospital, Island Road 1 and 2, Shamrock GAA, St Senan's National School, St Senan's Church, Oulart Road and Railway Square. Parking for holders of the Blue Disabled Parking badges will be available in Slaney Place and the AIB car park. A park and ride facility will be provided at the Mart on the Old Dublin Road and from St Senan's Hospital to Irish Street/ Barrack Street.
Several roads will be closed to facilitate for the event. The N11 circuit over both bridges, Abbey Quay and the Shannon Quay will be closed for 20 minutes during the official ceremony. From 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., the following routes will be closed: the N30 from Seamus Rafter Bridge to the Castle Hill roundabout; on the Mill Park Road from its junction with Parnell road to the Castle Hill Roundabout; Duffry Street, Main Street, Castle Street and Castle Hill; Weafer Street from the Duffry Hill junction to Castle Street; Slaney Place; St John's Street, Court Street, Church Street, Hospital Lane, Friary Hill and Friary Place. Bohreen Hill from the R890 to the N11 at Island Road will be closed from 6 a.m. until 7.30 p.m. while the Promenade from its junction with Mill Yard Lane to Seamus Rafter Bridge will be closed from 6 a.m. until midnight.
Traffic will continue as normal along the N11 on the Northbound and Southbound routes. Motorists heading to New Ross will be diverted at Blackstoops roundabout. Alternative routes will be signposted.
For those who would prefer to travel by foot or bike, the Backroads to the Rising project will see several hundred people walk or cycle from neighbouring villages and descend on the town of Enniscorthy just in time for the celebrations. Routes and starting times can be found on the Backroads to the Rising website.