The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has rejected suggestions that the planned commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising has been turned into a party political event.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Ahern said that he hoped the parade would attract people of all political opinions.

Meanwhile, the President, Mary McAleese, has said that those who died in the 1916 Rising gave their lives for those who now enjoy the benefits of the Celtic Tiger economy.

Speaking at the end of a two-day visit to the north of England, Ms McAleese said freedom had allowed modern Ireland to showcase its talents.

The President denied that there was any triumphalism about the celebrations.

She said the people of Ireland took pride in what those involved in the Rising had done, and that they had done it in the belief that they were helping a new generation to grow up in freedom and without fear.

The DUP's Ian Paisley Junior has criticised the President's remarks.

The North Antrim MLA said the claim that those who died in the Easter Rising gave their lives for those who now enjoy the benefits of the Celtic Tiger economy was utter folly and did not stand up to historical scrutiny.