Ten facts about the Presidential inauguration

Tuesday 15 November 2011 17.13
Dublin Castle - where the inauguration is taking place
Dublin Castle - where the inauguration is taking place

The inauguration of Michael D Higgins as the ninth President of Ireland takes place at Dublin Castle today.

He will be sworn in by the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Susan Denham, in the presence of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, other dignitaries and invited guests.

Ten Facts:

1. 300 members of the Defence Forces will take part in the inauguration.

2. Soloist Rita Connolly will sing 'The Deer's Cry', composed by her husband, Shaun Davey. The piece of music was first recorded in 1990 to accompany the closing sequence of Granada's documentary 'Who Bombed Birmingham'.

3. Alongside the President elect, several notable members of the audience, including the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Attorney General, Minister Pat Rabbitte and Minister Sean Sherlock, are all former NUI Galway students.

4. There will be eight religious concelebrants at today's inauguration: Rev Dr Diarmuid Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin; Rev Dr Ian Henderson, President, Methodist Church in Ireland; Rabbi Zalman Lent, Jewish Community Representative; Felicity McCartney, Religious Society of Friends; Rev Dr Michael A Jackson, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin; Rev Dr Trevor W.J Morrow, Presbyterian Church in Ireland representative; Dr Nooh Al-Kaddo, Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland; and Rev Fr Athanasius George, Coptic Orthodox Church in Ireland representative.

Susie Kennedy of the Humanist Association of Ireland will also give an address.

5. Four Pilatus PC-9m aircraft will be used in the Fly Past. They will fly in a diamond formation at low altitude over the Upper Yard.

6. 200 schoolchildren from across the country will form the Guard of Honour after the ceremony, which the new President will inspect.

7. Some of the high-profile guests attending the ceremony include the British ambassador, US ambassador, German ambassador, French ambassador, Greek ambassador, Chinese ambassador and Chilean ambassador.

8. The President elect has chosen Beannacht Murray to be performed at the ceremony. Performed by the Cois Claddagh choir, the words of this piece were written by John O Donohue.

9. The Upper Yard in Dublin Castle, where part of the ceremony will be held, was in previous years used for floggings and trial by combat. It used to be referred to as the Devil's Half-Acre.

10. A 105mm light gun will be used in the 21 gun salute. The salute is carried out by four gunners, a corporal, a lieutenant, a Battery sergeant and a timekeeper.