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25 May 2012 Edition

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1916 descendants’ motion to save historic site moved by Sinn Féin

14-17 MOORE STREET | ‘THE LAST BATTLEFIELD OF THE EASTER RISING’

• Save Moore Street campaigner James Connolly Heron shows Gerry Adams and Fionnula Flanagan proposals for the development of Moore Street and surrounding areas as a fitting national monument to the men and women of 1916

Hollywood star Fionnula Flanagan — recent recipient of an Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award — and James Connolly Heron, great-grandson of James Connolly, joined the Sinn Féin leader at a press briefing in Moore Street to publicise the initiative and appeal for cross-party support.

A DÁIL MOTION drafted by descendants of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation to have the Easter Rising battlefield site in Dublin’s Moore Street protected and developed as a historic or cultural quarter has been tabled by Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan (Arts & Heritage).

There are fears that 14-17 Moore Street, a designated National Monument but currently derelict, and the surrounding buildings, streets and laneways could be destroyed by a planned commercial shopping centre development. 16 Moore Street was the last headquarters of the Provisional Government.

“The plan to build a shopping centre on this site,” Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said, “stands in stark contrast to the manner in which other states acclaim those who fought for freedom and independence.”

Descendants of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation have been campaigning to save the site for more than a decade.

The Dáil Private Member’s Motion to save this piece of Irish history has the support of more than 50 Opposition TDs, including Sinn Féin’s 14 TDs.

Hollywood star Fionnula Flanagan — recent recipient of an Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award — and James Connolly Heron, great-grandson of James Connolly, joined the Sinn Féin leader at a press briefing in Moore Street to publicise the initiative and appeal for cross-party support.

During Leader’s Questions in the Dáil on 15 May, after leaders had attended the Arbour Hill 1916 Commemoration, Gerry Adams raised the “deplorable’ condition of the Moore Street site. He described it as “a slum”. Reminding the Taoiseach that he himself had spoken of the Moore Street area as being “the lanes of history”, Adams said the appalling condition of the site is an insult to the memory of the men and women of 1916. He added:

“A developer, Mr Joe O’Reilly, one of the ‘Maple 10 Golden Circle’, is planning to demolish the surrounding area for the building of a shopping complex. The developer is in NAMA, who are now considering funding this development. In other words, Irish taxpayers, Irish citizens, may be asked to pay for the vandalising of a national monument. Taoiseach, this is wrong.”

The motion was being debated as An Phoblacht went to print.

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