Protesters at 1916 site delay works at cost of €30k a day
Published 09/01/2016 | 02:30
Protesters occupying a building on Moore Street linked to the 1916 Rising are costing the taxpayer €30,000 each day restoration work is delayed.
About 15 people remained on scaffolding and in the building last night, vowing to step up their campaign if they do not receive assurances on the protection of the entire site.
On Thursday, a group of around 30 activists, calling themselves the 'Save Moore Street' group, gained access to the building currently being renovated.
A further 200 protesters gathered outside the site yesterday, which is owned by the Government, to protest against redevelopment plans for a number of dwellings on one of Dublin's most iconic streets.
The Government has already purchased some buildings, including the location of the last council of war held by the 1916 rebellion leaders.
Work began in November to restore numbers 14-17, which are subject to a State preservation order, to get them ready for this year's centenary celebrations. The dwellings are being converted into a new commemorative centre.
However, construction workers were forced to down tools yesterday after a small group of protesters refused to leave the site.
A spokesperson for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, told the Irish Independent each day the work was delayed would cost the taxpayer in the region of €30,000.
He also warned the occupation could jeopardise plans to have the buildings ready for the centenary celebrations.
However, a spokesman for the 'Save Moore Street' group insisted the whole terrace was of historical significance and demanded that the entire area be protected.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the 'Save No 16 Moore Street' group said it was deeply concerned by the actions of the protesters. They also gave their full support for the establishment of a commemorative centre on the site.
Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys said any setback to the construction work could jeopardise having the buildings ready for the centenary celebrations.
The activists were supported by a number of politicians, including Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and the party's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.