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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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There was an "unlawful entry" at the Moore St battlefield site this morning

The government also says workers at the site are being harassed.

Works at the site have been plagued by controversy.
Works at the site have been plagued by controversy.
Image: Facebook

THE DEPARTMENT OF Heritage says that gardaí cleared-off a number of people who had “unlawfully entered” the Moore Street 1916 battlefield site.

The department says that the people concerned “have not been identified and vacated the site after the intervention of gardaí.”

It also alleges that staff at a company contracted to carry out conservation works are being “continuously harassed”.

The Garda Press Office says that no crime was reported at the site this morning and that no arrests were made.

A Facebook page which says it opposes the “demolition” of Moore Street posted this morning that a “citizen’s inspection” was undertaken at the site.

Moore Street has been the subject of legal proceedings with the government deciding to appeal a decision by the High Court that declared various buildings a ‘battlefield site’.

That decision extended to buildings that Minister Heather Humphreys had previously said were “not historically significant.”

Moore Street was the location where the leaders of the 1916 rebellion decided to surrender after they retreated from the GPO.

Some campaigners who have been seeking to protect the site have expressed concern that work being undertaken is not being done carefully and respectfully enough.

Spokesperson for some 1916 relatives Donna Cooney says that they have requested access to the site to examine the works but have been denied this by the department who cited safety concerns.

This, she adds, is despite RTÉ being granted access to the site for filming.

Cooney says their concerns partly come from a banner previously attached to the facade of the buildings by the department which caused damage when it was removed.

“That’s all we can see and the concern is that they’re not really treating it with the respect that a conservation project would normally have,” she says.

Cooney says that she is not aware of who entered the site this morning but that photographs they took have since been circulated on social media.

The Department of Heritage says that works at the site are being carried out with “best practice conservation methods” by Lissadel Construction and that they are being observed by the Chief Archaeologist of the National Monuments Service.

“Illegal entry onto the site, such as happened this morning, and the continuous harassment of the employees of Lissadell as they go about this necessary conservation work is, in fact, endangering the monument,” the department said in a statement.

Read: Government to appeal decision to protect Moore Street battlefield site to Supreme Court >

Read: 1916 victory: Moore Street has been declared a ‘battlefield site’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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