Wednesday 11 December 2019

State has given no 'cogent' reason why it has not designated Moore Street building as national monument, High Court told

James Connolly Heron, a great grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, and member of the Save 16 Moore Street committee. Photo: Courtpix
James Connolly Heron, a great grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, and member of the Save 16 Moore Street committee. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

THE State has advanced no “cogent” reason why it has not designated as a national monument a building on Dublin’s Moore Street where wounded 1916 Rising leader James Connolly transferred command, the High Court has been told.

A field hospital was also set up at No 10 Moore Street under Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell to treat the wounded of 1916, the court heard.

The only reason the Minister for Heritage had not designated No 10 a national monument appeared to be the fact it was located a few buildings down from a terrace at Nos 14-17, which have been designated national monuments, Conleth Bradley SC said.

There was "no cogent reason" why No 10 was excluded. The area of the national monument should be extended to include it and other relevant buildings and places on and around Moore Street comprising a 1916 battlefield site, he argued.

This battlefield area should be protected by the Minister for a range of reasons, historical, cultural, architectural and archaeological, he added.

Mr Bradley was continuing arguments on behalf of Colm Moore, a nominee of the 1916 Relatives Association, in the action against the Minister for Arts and Heritage aimed at preserving the battlefield site.

Some of the relatives were in court again on Wednesday, the third day of the hearing before Mr Justice Max Barrett.

Following out of court talks throughout the day, the hearing resumed just before 3pm.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams interrupted his election canvass to attend the hearing for a period.

In submissions, Mr Bradley said the first “council of war” of the 1916 leaders took place in No 10 Moore Street and it was there James

Connolly transferred command to Sean McLoughlin.

Casualties were also treated there in a field hospital set up under Nurse O’Farrell.

The British had targeted the GPO on O’Connell Street and shelled the area around it and volunteers and civilians were killed on and around the Moore Street area, the court heard

Another report referred to large numbers of men having used various means to burrow through the walls of various houses along Moore Street in shifts during the night of Friday April 28, 1916.

The report stated, by the end of the night, the men had spread themselves along the whole terrace extending from No 10 to No 25 Moore


Other reports said Nos 21 and 20 Moore Street have some pre-1916 facades and some interior survival of fabric and fittings.

The court was told by Michael McDowell SC, for the Minister, the State’s position is that No 16 was designated a national monument

because it was the building where the government of the Irish Republic met and decided to surrender.

Nos 14, 15 and 17 were designated national monuments due to being linked to No 16 on the same terrace, he added.

The case continues.

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