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Sinn Féin disappointed with 'inadequate' protection of Moore Street

The Government amended a Sinn Féin/Fianna Fáil motion about the protection of the 1916 battlefield site.

Actress Fionnuala Flanagan has lent her support to the call to preserve the Moore Street building (pictured) that was the HQ for the 1916 rising.
Actress Fionnuala Flanagan has lent her support to the call to preserve the Moore Street building (pictured) that was the HQ for the 1916 rising.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

GERRY ADAMS HAS strongly criticised the Government for its “inadequate and deeply disappointing” response to a Sinn Féin-led motion to protect and preserve the national monument on Moore Street in Dublin.

The buildings from 14 to 17 Moore Street and its surrounding area were a battlefield site and headquarters to the Provisional Government during the 1916 Easter rising. A preservation order was placed on the site in 2007 so that no changes to the buildings could be made without ministerial consent.

Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáíl, along with a number other TDs in the Dáil, had proposed a motion yesterday to protect the area even further so it could be developed into a historical and cultural quarter in the future.

The Government amended the initial proposal, loosening the terms of the safeguard. Adams said the changes to the original motion would allow for the demolition of the surrounds of the existing monument.

“It does not guarantee that the terrace, now lying in a state of disrepair and dereliction, would be preserved but allows for it to be subsumed into an inappropriate setting within a shopping centre,” claimed the party leader.

The clash of commercialism and a tangible link with the great ideas articulated in the Proclamation of the Republic is a metaphor for our times.

Last year, an application was made for consent to alter the monument. The proposals for a shopping mall would include a commemorative centre for the events which took place in the Moore Street chapter of the Easter Rising, according to the Government.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan told the Dáil yesterday evening that the application for consent to alterations to the Moore Street monument will be taken “in accordance with the high level of protection applied to these buildings” and with “regards to their national and historical significance”.

He said the national monument is “robustly and comprehensively” protected.

No change can currently be made to 14-17 Moore Street without the express consent of Minister Deenihan. He added that he was “acutely aware” that the “massively important historical site” is brought up to a standard befitting the centenary commemorations in 2016.

“Time is rapidly running out if this goal is to be realised and it is my intention to make a decision on the consent application as soon as the necessary deliberations and consultations have been completed,” he continued.

He also paid tribute to the relatives of the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation and other campaigners who have raised the public’s awareness of the historic buildings on Moore Street.

“Their hard work and commitment has ensured that there is a national monument there today. But for them what is now a national monument could have been demolished under planning permission granted in 1999 that would have allowed this to happen. It was their efforts that led to the Preservation Order being placed on Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street in January 2007 – a decision I fully concur with.”

The initial motion was signed by 50 TDs, including Labour’s Patrick Nulty.

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