A commemoration has been held in Co Tipperary to mark the 100th anniversary of the Soloheadbeg ambush, which is widely considered to have started the War of Independence. 

The ceremony opened with mass in Solohead church, celebrated by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly.  

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan then laid a wreath on behalf of the Government at the site of the Soloheadbeg Ambush Memorial, in remembrance of all who suffered and who lost their lives during the Independence struggle.

The Soloheadbeg ambush - Sudden, bloody and unexpected

Minister Madigan said: "It is very fitting that the significance of what happened in Soloheadbeg a century ago is remembered with a respectful, community led commemoration, supported by Tipperary County Council and the State. I commend the efforts and commitment of the Solohead Parish Centenary Commemoration Committee and the Third Tipperary Brigade Old IRA Commemoration Committee who have ensured that today's ceremony is authentic, appropriate, inclusive and meaningful"

She said that in remembering this period of our history, "we acknowledge both the military campaign of the independence struggle as well as the constitutional parliamentary traditions and the democratic process underpinning all traditions on this island".

The ambush by the IRA on a group bringing gelignite to a quarry at Soloheadbeg, near Limerick Junction, resulted in two Irish policemen being shot dead.

Over 2,000 people were killed in the War of Independence, which ended in 1921.