President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and several members of the cabinet have attended the annual state commemoration of the 1916 Rising at Arbour Hill in Dublin.

Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina were driven to Arbour Hill with a military escort of 30 motorcycles.

When he arrived, the President inspected a Guard of Honour.

About 300 members of the Defence Forces were involved in the ceremony, including Cadets from the Military College on the Curragh.

Also present were Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and several members of the Cabinet including Alan Shatter, Michael Noonan, Pat Rabbitte, Jimmy Deenihan, Richard Bruton, Frances Fitzgerald, Joan Burton and Leo Varadkar.

Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin and the President of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams were also there.

Chief Justice Susan Denham, other leading judges, and Attorney General Maire Whelan attended as did the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lt Gen Sean McCann and the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callanan.

The chief celebrant of the Mass was Army chaplain Fr. Dan McCarthy, and Mr Kenny read one of the Lessons in Irish.

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, as well as the Dean of Kildare, the Very Rev Dr John Marsden were near the sanctuary.

In his sermon, the Bishop of Ferns Dr Denis Brennan said he hoped a renewal of the national spirit would follow from the current changes in society.

He said some of the changes, including the economic downturn, cause pain and confusion but he prayed that in its own time a new age of creativity would be released.

After Mass, an inter-faith service was held at the graves of the 1916 leaders.

For the first time five Christian religions took part - including Archbishop Jackson, Monsignor Eoin Thynne (Head Chaplain to Defence Forces), Rev Andrew Dougherty (Methodist), Rev Michael Anderson (Presbyterian), and Rev Athanasius George (Coptic Orthodox).

Mr Maurice Cohen, chairman of the Jewish Representative Council also read a prayer.

A representative of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland was also invited to deliver a prayer, but later apologised for being absent at the graveside due to a misunderstanding.