Sunday 17 October 2010

Moore St houses 'the Irish Alamo'

“THE IRISH Alamo” is how the Moore Street houses where 1916 rebels spent their final hours before surrender are being described by those campaigning to preserve the site.

Matt Doyle, secretary of the National Graves Association, made the comments before a public meeting of the ‘Save 16 Moore Street’ campaign last night.

Due to their historic significance, the houses at 14 to 17 Moore Street were designated national monuments by then environment minister Dick Roche in 2007. Number 16 Moore Street is said to be where Irish rebel leaders made the decision to surrender to British forces after the 1916 Rising.

However in March this year, An Bord Pleanála approved planning permission for a major redevelopment of the 2.7-hectare Carlton Cinema site on Upper O’Connell Street. Developer Joe O’Reilly was granted permission for an 800,000sq ft development to include retail and residential units, restaurants and car spaces.

While the facade would be preserved, campaigners say the work will infringe on an area of national interest. James Connolly Heron, a great-grandson of James Connolly and a member of the ‘Save 16 Moore Street’ committee, said: “We’re calling for the terrace to be taken out of the development plan altogether and for the creation of a holistic cultural quarter.”

Mr Doyle said: “We welcome regeneration of the area but we’re concerned the development will be an infringement on the national monument site. Next year is the 95th anniversary of the Rising and politicians will be banging their chests. They’re not interested until it comes to an anniversary. . .

“This site is the Irish Alamo, there should be a national monument to it.”

The campaigners have also expressed concern that Mr O’Reilly is one of the first 10 developers going into Nama.

A statement issued by Minister John Gormley’s office yesterday reiterated the national monument status of the Moore Street houses.

Irish Times

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