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The perfect celebration

Of all the public projects now in train or in the early stages of planning, nothing compares in national significance with the celebration of the centenary in 2016 of the Easter Rising of 1916. And few compare in complexity.

It has to go hand-in-hand with the redevelopment of Dublin's O'Connell Street and the adjoining area.

Much improvement has already taken place, but largely, it has to be said, of a cosmetic nature. On a totally different scale are two major proposals on the table: turning the General Post Office, the central location of the Rising, into a museum and the ambitious €750m plan put forward by Arnotts.

Both are splendid ideas, but the complications are enormous.

The Railway Procurement Agency has reservations about the Arnotts' proposal.

It will have to be devised and carried out in such a way as to facilitate, not impede, the smooth and safe flow of public transport.

The museum proposal is imaginative and exciting. The GPO is a national shrine. It is also one of the finest buildings in Dublin.

We can make for ourselves a superb institution which has an interior worthy of the colonnades, with works of art of the highest quality, special exhibitions, lectures, recitals, and high-technology aids to historical understanding.

But the work required here, and for the redevelopment as a whole, will be enormous.

It will require intense co-operation between Government departments, the City Council, the Garda Siochana -- and private enterprise. We have to get it right.

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