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Protect whole of Moore St - 1916 relatives

Relatives of Irish fighters in the 1916 Rising are going into battle over the future of buildings in Dublin's Moore Street.

They want an entire terrace of buildings stretching the whole length of the street to be preserved and not just four of the properties.

In 2007, the houses numbered 14 to 17 were designated a national monument. The final headquarters of the 1916 leaders before surrender was number 16.

Barry Lyons, spokesman for the 1916 Relatives Association, said the group is against plans for a new shopping centre or modern shopping mall.

Battlefield

Instead, each building could be renovated to become a small shop, café, or business along the style of Temple Bar, he said.

The group is opposed to plans to be considered by Dublin City Council members next month. The plan is to swap 24/25 Moore Street, owned by Dublin City Council, for the national monument site at 14-17 Moore Street, owned by construction company Chartered Land.

Independent Councillor Nial Ring, a member of the council's Moore Street Advisory Committee, has said the swap would come with a commitment to develop a €6.5m heritage centre at 14 to 17 Moore Street in time for the centenary of the Rising and a further €2.5m development at the rear of the site.

NAMA, which took over loans connected with Chartered Land, would fund the project.

Committee members had also wanted the entire terrace including numbers 24 and 25 designated a "battlefield site". The heritage centre would be owned and operated by Dublin City Council.

The disposal of council land to a third party must be approved by councillors.

The buildings in question were originally to be incorporated into a massive retail development planned by Chartered Land.

Mr Lyons, who has nine relatives who took part in the 1916 Rising, said the swap proposal must be resisted as "people should not horse-trade with history."

He said the National Museum stated the Moore Street battleground site was "the most important historic site in modern Irish history."

He also claimed that the Imperial War Museum in Britain had declared the site was the "most intact" city battlefield site in Europe.

Wounded

Mr Lyons said that all buildings from Numbers 10 to 27 should be preserved. For example, Number 10 was where the 1916 leaders held their first 'Council of War' and the Pearse brothers had slept upstairs. Wounded James had been present on a stretcher.

"No demolition plan for these buildings should be allowed. I would compare it with a proposal to demolish Kilmainham Jail which was prevented in 1966 when relatives of 1916 combatants stepped in to save it," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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