Minister condemns disruption of the Moore Street wreath-laying
Published 29/03/2016 | 02:30
Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys criticised demonstrators who heckled her during a State wreath-laying ceremony to honour the rebels of the 1916 Rising. Protesters dressed in period costume tried to drown her out as she and two young children laid a wreath on Dublin's Moore Street to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.
Blowing whistles and shouting "Humphreys Out" and "Shame on you", members of the Save Moore Street protest group temporarily disrupted the synchronised wreath-laying ceremony.
In her speech, she paid tribute to those who fought for Irish freedom, as well as the casualties of the insurrection, including 40 children who died after being caught up in the gunfire.
Afterwards, the minister condemned the protest, saying: "I was very disappointed for the relatives who had gathered for the wreath-laying today in Moore Street in honour of those who fought and died for this country.
"The ceremony today was designed to be solemn and respectful. I find it very disappointing that a small group of protesters would seek to disrupt it in such a disrespectful way."
In attendance was Brendan Plunkett, whose father John was born above Plunkett Butchers at 16 Moore Street.
Mr Plunkett's family - including his mother, who was seven months pregnant at Easter 1916 - had to evacuate the butcher's shop during the Rising.
Maria White Fitzpatrick, a great grand-daughter of nurse Elizabeth Farrell, said the protest was not fitting on such a day.
But members of Save Moore Street remained determined to carry on their protest as part of a campaign to protect a number of buildings on the street from demolition. The Save Moore Street group and the 1916 Relatives Group have been campaigning on the issue.
They won a High Court injunction last week to halt demolition of some of the buildings, after Mr Justice Max Barrett declared the whole street a battlefield site. Niamh McDonald of Save Moore Street said: "Our goal was to make Heather Humphreys know that we are not happy with her on the street."