PROTESTERS HECKLED MINISTER Heather Humphreys as she attended a 1916 commemoration on Moore Street this afternoon.
The group of Save Moore Street demonstrators attended the wreath-laying ceremony, shouting ”shame on you” and “Humphreys out” throughout.
They arrived just ahead of start of the event and began chanting, ‘Out, out, out’ and ‘Save our street’ while standing behind barriers near where the wreaths were due to be laid.
The campaigners were protesting against the decision to have Humphreys lay the wreath today.
The ceremony was one of a number of co-ordinated events taking place across the city to remember the events of Easter Monday 100 years ago.
At that time, the provisional government retreated to Moore Street after leaving the GPO. It was also the site from which the surrender was finally issued. Many fought and died on the street, as well as in the surrounding area and laneways.
The Save Moore Street group and other campaigners, including the 1916 Relatives Group, have been calling for protection for a number of buildings on Moore Street.
They won a High Court case earlier this month when Justice Max Barrett declared the entire street a ‘battlefield site’.
Last year, the government stepped in to buy the site at 14-17 Moore Street, the building where the Rising’s leaders met and decided to surrender.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, however, argued that other buildings on the street, such as 13 and 18 and 19, “are not historically significant”.
The court decision may force the government to reverse that decision.
Today, the protesters completely drowned the Minister out as she delivered her speech.
They also chanted as the Defence Forces’ representative gave an outline of the history of the area and when Humphreys and a young boy rose to lay the wreaths.
The crowd was noticeably annoyed by the disruption with a number of relatives of 1916 fighters upset with what was happening.
There were no arrests made with a garda source stating it was a peaceful protest.
“We didn’t want any trouble so we let them be,” he said.
The group remained quiet during the official minute’s silence but resumed its demonstration after.
In a statement to TheJournal.ie, Minister Humphreys said she was “very disappointed for the relatives”.
The protesters showed utter disrespect for those relatives and indeed to the two children who were laying a wreath.
“The ceremony today was designed to be a solemn and respectful. I find it very disappointing that a small group of protestors would seek to disrupt it in such a disrespectful way.”
The Save Moore Street call for protesters was shared more than 260 times on Facebook yesterday.
Reporting by Michelle Hennessy