The historical importance of Moore Street in the birth of the Republic has been highlighted in the Dáil by Aontú leader, Peadar Tóibín, who said that the area which was central to the Rising has been turned into an “outdoor toilet” by Government inaction.
“Moore St is the birthplace of the Irish Republic. The lanes and buildings that surround the street record with the heroism of the people who were out in 1916. The Moore Street battlefield site was the location of the final stand of many of the volunteers who fought in the GPO in 1916. They came under heavy machine gun fire in the laneways around Moore Street and set up the last headquarters of the 1916 Provisional Government of the Irish Republic and the final council of war,” he told the Dáil.
“The freedoms we hold today, we hold, as a result of the heroism of those men and women. The Ministers who hold office today in this government, hold them in large part because of the sacrifice of the Irish Republican Volunteers that put life and limb in danger over 100 years ago,” he said.
“So what have they done with those offices? After 10 years of Fine Gael government the most important battle field site of the republic is shrouded in grime and dereliction. It’s a place where people urinate and defecate and where traders are assaulted. Today, Moore Street stands as a monument to the ineptitude of the past 10 years of government and to the prioritisation of vulture funds over our history.”
“We have had no end of expert groups, committees, reports, forums and Dáil debate but yet the net result of successive FG and FF ministers is to allow the birthplace of the republic become an outdoor toilet.”
He also made reference to the Moore St Traders. “These traders have been treated with a shocking disdain. What once was the quintessential Dublin experience has been allowed to die a slow death,” Deputy Tóibín said.
The Meath West TD said that Moore Street should represent an opportunity. “It could be an engine of renewal in the north inner city. It could be a cultural hub that breathes new life into the area west of O’Connell St where historical, cultural, Irish language and commercial interests could operate successfully side by side. A rejuvenated street market could be developed to rival the great out door markets across other European cities.”
“Instead the government is paralysed waiting for Hammersons who own much of the Battlefield site. This government strategy like every other previous government has been to defer to the commercial interests of the Vulture Fund. In other words the government have given primacy to the commercial interests of the large property companies at the cost of Ireland’s heritage. Moore St is the site of another battle. A battle between large international developers and the citizen based, relatives campaigns that has sought to protect Ireland’s Irish and valuable heritage.”
On which side of this battle has Fianna Fáíl, Fine Gael, and the Greens stood. Fine Gael have stood with the property interests against the heritage of Ireland. The demolition of the house of the O’Rahilly in Herbert park is a prime example of this.”
He claimed that Fianna Fáíl “stand in different places depending on whether on whether they are in government or opposition” and that the Bill proposed by Sinn Féin now before the Daíl to preserve Moore Street “is a rough copy of Darragh O Brien’s Fianna Fáil bill that he quickly dropped when he became a minister.”
“The deference by the government to Hammersons plan is a massive mistake. This is illogical for the reasons. Hammerson has just in the last week posted a £1.7 billion loss for 2020 and gave a formal warning about threats to its ability to continue as a going concern. Relying on the Hammerson plan not just damaging on a heritage basis in illogical on a financial basis. It will freeze the site into years of more dereliction. The government needs to develop the buildings it owns. It needs to support the Relatives Campaign plan. It needs to support this Bill and the Bill that we in Aontú has developed,” he said.