Around 2,000 spectators turned out at the GPO in Dublin this afternoon to honour those who died in the 1916 Rising.

President Mary McAleese, Taoiseach Brian Cowen and several Government ministers attended the ceremony.

There was bright sunshine throughout the 20-minute event.

Relatives of some of those who died in the Easter Rising occupied special seats in front of the GPO.

It was the first military ceremony attended by new Minister for Defence Tony Killeen since his appointment.

Ministers of State Peter Power and Seán Haughey were in attendance, as was the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Emer Costello.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was also present along with Finance Minster Brian Lenihan, Minister for Tourism, Culture & Sport Mary Hanafin, Minister for Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey and Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith.

President McAleese arrived with a military motorcycle escort whose members were wearing a new button-up uniform for the first time.

After the lowering of the Tricolour, prayers were recited by the Army Head Chaplain, Monsignor Eoin Thynne.

A piper played a lament, which was followed by the reading of the Proclamation of Independence by Captain Eoghan O'Sullivan.

President McAleese then laid a wreath. A minute's silence was observed and the Last Post was sounded.

The two deputies to the Chief of Staff, Major General Dave Ashe and Major General Sean McCann, were present.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and other senior gardaí also attended.

The ceremony ended with a flypast by the Air Corps.