Monday 18 December 2017

High Court judge declares 1916 Moore Street buildings a national monument

Protesters are halting restoration works at the 1916 site on Dublin’s Moore Street, over fears the historical structures may be damaged. Photo: PA
Protesters are halting restoration works at the 1916 site on Dublin’s Moore Street, over fears the historical structures may be damaged. Photo: PA

A High Court judge has granted declarations that various buildings on and around Dublin's Moore Street are a "battlefield site" comprising a national monument.

Mr Justice Max Barrett's decision means the Minister for Arts and Heritage must reconsider her view there is no wider 1916 Rising "battlefield site" on and around Moore Street which should be protected as a national monument. The Minister had argued only one terrace of buildings at Nos 14 to 17  Moore Street should be protected as a national monument.

In a 400 page judgment, Mr Justice Barrett said, having regard to the "wealth of evidence" before him, including from historians and architects, he was satisfied to grant declarations various other buildings and locations on and around Moore Street comprise a national monument.

These include No 10 Moore Street, a portion of No 13 Moore Street comprising a surviving party wall with No 12, Nos 18,20 and 21 Moore Street, the one time O'Brien's water works, the one time O'Brien's bottling stores, the onetime O'Brien's stables and the so-called White House.

They also include each and all of the streets and street alignments of O'Rahilly Parade, the length of Moore Lane from Parnell Street to Henry Place, the entire 'L' of Henry Place; and Moore Street from the junction with Henry Place to the junction with O'Rahily Parade, he said.

The judge said, faced with "powerful observations" relating to the existence of a wider 1916 "battlefield site", he believed there could be no doubt the current streetways and alignments of the Moore Street "theatre of conflict" satisfy the criteria identified in the National Monuments Act for being national monuments. 

He also made orders requiring that a large vinyl banner placed on the terrace of buildings at Nos 14-17 Moore Street, which are intended to house a 1916 rising Commemorative Centre, should be taken down due to being unauthorised development.

While making additional orders restraining any unauthorised development at Nos 14-17, the judge said the Minister, after she has had an opportunity to consider his judgment, could return to court to apply to vary his order as appropriate.

He was giving his reserved judgment on the proceedings brought by Colm Moore, as a nominee of the 1916 Relatives Association, against the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The Judge had visited the Moore Street area late last month prior to embarking on the hearing which concluded earlier this week.

Mr Moore brought judicial review proceedings and two sets of proceedings under the Planning Acts.

In his judicial review, Mr Moore sought declarations and orders including an order requiring the Minister reconsider her view it is sufficient that Nos 14-17 Moore Street are protected as a national monument. 

No 16 Moore Street was the site where the leaders of the Rising gathered on April 26th 1916 for the final time before their surrender and executions.

No 16 is intended as the centrepiece of a 1916 Rising Commemorative Centre being developed by the State on the terrace from Nos 14 to 17.

In his planning proceedings, Mr Moore argued plans to demolish No 10 and Nos 13, 18 and 19 Moore Street so as to “isolate” the national monument at Nos 14-17 amount to unauthorised development.

He alleges the Minister’s consent for works to the terrace at Nos 14-17 cannot be “decoupled” from permission for works on a major retail and residential development in the area by Chartered Land.

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