Technical Group Submission on Moore St. – January 2013
This submission is being made by members of the Technical Group of the 31st Dáil.
Members did tour the site with the relatives and are making the following observations in the submission.
There is no doubting the very considerable dereliction of the area around Moore St. It is a national disgrace that this area, the site of one of the most significant events in our history – Easter Rising, April 1916 – in fact a defining moment, has not been preserved appropriately, in a way that dignifies and acknowledges the work, the philosophies, the ideals, the heroism of the men and women who contributed to our independence and whose actions led to the foundation of the state, the Irish Republic.
The 1916 Rising is an unforgettable pivotal moment which embodies the dream of an Irish Republic and to the foundation of the state.
Preventing Further Loss:
Only for the commitment and dedication of a few, Kilmainham Gaol would have been demolished; we know the gaol, apart from its historical significance, is a major tourist attraction, attracting over 100,000 visitors annually.
Similarly, only for the dedication and commitment of Save Moore St. Committee, Combri Group and others, all the area around Moore St. could have been demolished.
We acknowledge their persistence in raising the issue of the area’s neglect and in assembling and gathering historical information, period artefacts; also with their own limited resources exposing certain questionable practices, including certain planning decisions, that contributed to the continuous neglect of the area.
The historic significance of the area dates from 12th Century. There are examples of structures from the eighteenth century.
14-17 Moore St. are designated the National Monument but there is significant evidence that no.10, nos 20/21 are of historic interest also. The Bureau of Military History Archives witness statements (as included in Shaffrey Report, prepared for D.C.C. November 2005) attest to the historical significance of a number of other houses on the terrace, besides the designated National Monument.
In fact the whole terrace from 10 to 25 is of historic significance and so deserving of appropriate preservation; also Henry Place, Moore Lane and the other lanes that were part of the evacuation from the G.P.O.
Consequently, the Technical Group recognises the whole area from G.P.O to the site of the surrender in Parnell St. as a battlefield site, and therefore, in its entirety, should be considered a national monument. That status should not be confined solely to nos. 14-17 Moore St. So much more can be achieved by extending national monument status beyond 14-17 Moore St.
We are astonished that permission was given for a large scale shopping mall which would completely dwarf and overwhelm the area especially 14-17 Moore St. This was extremely questionable; apart from the appropriateness of this development there are issues in relation to the fact that there are examples of other stores in the area struggling to survive and some closing.
Why would we entrust an area of deep historical and cultural significance to a commercial developer, driven by the profit.
The landowner is actually seeking consent to build on, and under, 60% of the area of the designated National Monument that the Minister has undertaken by law to preserve.
Imagine the reaction of the Amsterdam authorities, and the public there, if similar was suggested in the area of Anne Frank House! Or in the vicinity of other historic quarters like Golden Lane in Prague, the Jewish quarter in Krakow.
These areas, and there are many more, are examples of the appropriate preservation of historical cultural areas which are also centres of tourist attraction with obvious appropriate commercial possibilities.
We believe that the city centre should not only be synonymous with what happens in the Temple Bar area – late night drinking establishments and costly anti-social behaviour, costly in economic, physical and emotional terms.
We have had so much same type development, high rise in areas of Dublin City and adjoining docklands we have to ask if we need more of that type development. It is vital that an area of historical and cultural significance is not allowed deteriorate further or become into a development playground.
So we are calling to extend the Special Area of conservation of O’Connell St./Parnell St. to include Moore St. and adjoining streets associated with the Rising – a historic quarter stretching from Mountjoy Square, Parnell Square, Parnell Street to Moore Street area and G.P.O.
There is so much potential for a historic walk, using witness statements, which would trace the footsteps and activities of the insurgents from the G.P.O. along the laneways, and into Moore St. to the point of the surrender outside the Rotunda on Parnell Street.
A very significant part of the history and culture of Moore Street is the street trading tradition and it would be shameful if we lost that tradition. Moore St. has been considered the true heart of Dublin where for over a century the shops and stalls have fed thousands of people. Moore St. is a real street market, trading carried on among generations of the same families, and a tourist destination.
It is important that the Council will deal promptly with submissions of Environmental Impact Survey statements.
- That the area from the G.P.O to Moore St. and the site of the surrender at Parnell St. (including the laneways between Henry St. and Moore St.) be recognised as a battlefield site and designated the national monument.
- That it be preserved in a fitting, dignified way according to best international practice, in architectural, archaeological, historical terms.
- That the trading tradition of Moore St. be part of the preservation.
Deputies – Maureen O’Sullivan, Richard Boyd Barrett, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Stephen Donnelly, Luke Mink Flanagan, Tom Fleming, John Halligan, Seamus Healy, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Catherine Murphy, Thomas Pringle, Shane Ross.