‘Save Moore Street’: protest to take place Saturday 

The government is being accused of demolishing the site of the “final stand of the 1916 volunteers” as Dublin City Council give developers the go-ahead for a shopping mall in a long-controversial project. 

Groups opposed to the development, including relatives of those who fought in 1916, say the decision to grant planning permission have called for a protest on Moore Street this Saturday to preserve the historical site.

The ‘Save Moore Street from Demolition’ protest says it is rallying to “save Moore Street from speculators and to retain the historic revolutionary quarter and street market.”

Dublin City Council have approved an application from British property developer, Hammerson, to partly demolish and rebuild in the area, which critics describe as being a “national monument”.

The protest organisers say Hammerson “plan to demolish part of the terrace occupied by the GPO garrison and threaten the last remaining street of a market quarter dating back to the 16th Century.”

“In the last days of the Easter Rising, between 200-300 fighters of the Irish Volunteers, Irish Citizen Army and including three women (the others having left shortly before to take the wounded to hospital), occupied the terrace, tunneling from house to house,” they say.

“Volunteers died in the street and surrounding laneways. Sadly the speculator’s plan was approved in part by the Irish Government (with some conditions) but we do not accept that.”

The general campaign is non-party political and is supported by the National Graves Association, 1916 Relatives Association, Save Moore St. Campaign and others.

“Through raising public awareness and lobbying, the broad campaign seeks the refusal of the Chartered Land plan and instead, the development of the entire terrace and lanes as a historic quarter, retaining the street market,” they say. “Speculators should not build a vulgar Shopping Mall over the 1916 Battlefield site in Moore Street.”

“The City Management and Planning officials have ignored the democratically elected councillors who have consistently voted for an Historical and Cultural Quarter there to honour the brave men and women who made their last stand for an Irish Republic in Moore Street In April 1916.”

“This is the Council that built the bunkers over the unique Viking site on Wood Quay, depriving Dublin of billions of euro of tourist revenue.”

“We presented the Government with our alternative plan that includes a Cafe Gaelach, a Traditional Music Shop, an Art Gallery, a Theatre, a Book Shop, a Library, a Photographic Gallery, a 1916 Museum, a Youth Hostel etc. This Quarter would draw thousands of visitors and members of the diaspora to Moore Street, the cradle of our revolution. Why are the expressed wishes of the democratically elected representatives being shot down?  Please come to Moore Street next Saturday at 3pm and tell the government and the developer that Dublin is rising once again.”

Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has sharply criticised the decision, stating that it was “shameful” that a “British property developer was prioritised over heritage in the redevelopment of a 1916 battleground”.

An Teachta Tóibín said: “It is a damning indictment of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael that for the last 10 years the birthplace of the Irish Republic was turned into a latrine, where people urinate and defecate and where traders are assaulted. Today’s announcement is just the latest affirmation of long standing government policy: to prioritise corporate interests of international vulture funds, over the founding heritage of the Irish Republic. The Hammerson application proposes a mixture of retail, residential and office redevelopments for the site. It actually plans to break the Moore St Terrace and change the nature of the street”.

“Moore Street battlefield site was the location of the final stand of many of the volunteers who fought in the GPO in 1916.  It is a National Monument. Yet consent has been granted by planners without due consideration to relevant survey reports,” he said.

“The Ministers in this government would not be Ministers today if it were not for the sacrifice of the men and women of 1916. Moore St is still a battlefield site. There is a battle between  the corporate interests of international funds and the people of Ireland who are doing their best to maintain this key element of our heritage. Shockingly the government is firmly with Corporate interests”.

“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 outdoor markets across other European cities. Instead, now, it is likely the history of Moore Street will be buried underneath office blocks and apartment complexes. I would urge the government to amend this decision to ensure that the history and heritage of Moore Street is the priority in redevelopment, not just an afterthought in the pursuit of profit.”

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