DUBLIN City Council has been accused of "shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic" over its proposal for a land swap in the capital's historic Moore Street.
The proposal, due to be voted on at a council committee meeting on September 1, would ensure the completion of a 1916 heritage centre on the national monument at 14 to 17 Moore Street six weeks before the centenary in two years' time.
Developers Chartered Land would provide €9m for restoration works, and the council would take ownership of the centre in exchange for numbers 24 and 25, which the developers require as part of plans for a new shopping centre.
Paddy Cooney of the Save 16 Moore Street Committee described the proposal as a "non-starter" and said it was "insulting in this day and age that they're talking about almost playing chess with such an important site".
"They're basically shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic because they know this shopping centre is not going to go ahead. We've spoken to the Moore Street Advisory Committee, made up of Dublin city councillors, who've said they will not entertain this ludicrous idea."
Committee member and councillor John Lyons echoed Mr Cooney's remarks. "I made it clear to city manager Owen Keegan and others that it won't be allowed to happen. There's no way. It's a very bad proposal."
However, committee chairman Nial Ring welcomed the proposal, stating it "will at least make sure that we have a fully operational heritage centre ready in time for Easter 2016 and owned and operated by Dublin City Council".
Moore Street Traders Committee's Margaret Hanway agreed with Mr Ring, stating "we need something done with Moore Street, because it's an absolute disgrace to everybody, to people that are visiting it, and people that are selling in it".
It was on Moore Street in Easter 1916 that the rebels, having broken out of the GPO on O'Connell Street, finally surrendered to the British.