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14 February 2018

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Sinn Féin to introduce Moore Street legislation after disappointing Court of Appeal ruling

Peadar Tóibín TD raised the issue of Moore Street with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this afternoon

"The buildings, streets and lanes of the area are the real physical connection between our generation and the men and women of 1916." - Peadar Tóibín TD

Sinn Féin has announced that it will introduce legislation in the coming weeks, to support the campaign for the Moore Street Battlefield site being declared as a national monument.

This comes just hours after the decision by the Court of Appeal to back the State and overturn the March 2016 High Court judgement that the 1916 Rising battlefield site in its entirety comprised a national monument.

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Peadar Tóibín TD, raised the issue of Moore Street with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this afternoon.

An Teachta Tóibín described Moore Street as “the birth place of the Irish Republic”. 

The Meath West TD said: “The buildings, streets and lanes of the area are the real physical connection between our generation and the men and women of 1916. 

“Located just off O’Connell Street, the Moore Street area is ideally located to become the epicentre of the new vibrant historical, cultural and trading quarter. However due to your government, it is derelict, having been sterilised by years of legal cases.”

Today’s ruling comes after former Minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Huphreys TD, and Dublin Central Limited Partnership appealed a series of findings in a March 2016 judgment of the High Court’s Mr Justice Max Barrett.

Mr Justice Barrett had granted orders to prevent work on a number of the buildings and locations in the area which had been earmarked to be demolished and re-developed, after declaring them to be part of a battlefield site comprising a national monument.

Teachta Tóibín continued: “The former Minister of Heritage has by her actions stripped Moore Street of its National Monument status, possibly opening it up to massive commercial development by a British developer.

“Taoiseach, will you do the right thing? The judgement stated that it is a matter of pure policy, solely for the legislature to decide. 

“Will you ensure that your Minister declares the whole of the battlefield site as a National Monument? If you don’t, we will introduce legislation here in the coming weeks to do just that.”

This evening, Teachta Tóibín submitted a bill that he hopes will finally "bring to an end this ongoing saga and see the quarter blossom into the wonderful, re-energised cultural space that it could be” if it is supported by the Dáil.  

The Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheál McDonnacha, attended the court hearing today and he said that he is “determined to work with the campaigners to continue this campaign”.

Cllr McDonnacha said: “The courts are only one aspect of this issue. It’s a broader issue, it is a political issue and it is an issue for the people of Dublin and Ireland who want to see the Moore Street Battlefield site preserved.”

The 1916 Relatives Association described the case as “an important element in the overall campaign to preserve, regenerate, enhance and re-define this iconic and historical quarter of Dublin”. 

They said that they will be taking time over the next few weeks to consider the Court of Appeals’ judgment and the issues involved.

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