Minister to get 1916 site assessment soon


MINISTER FOR Heritage Jimmy Deenihan has said he expects to shortly receive an environmental impact assessment on a Dublin site associated with the 1916 Rising.

He said that numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street were under the remit of Nama. Proposals had been submitted to his department envisaging the retention of the buildings and the provision of a commemorative centre.

Planning permission for the site had been granted by Dublin City Council and confirmed by An Bord Pleanála.

“I need to adjudicate on a national monument and determine whether the proposal is adequate and whether it would fulfil the function of properly recognising the people who occupied that building in 1916 and where the final war council decision was made to surrender,” he added.

Mr Deenihan was replying to Fianna Fáil’s Seán Ó Fearghaíl who complimented him on his engagement with the matter.

“I suppose we can all regret that we have waited so long for something definitive to happen with this critical site,” he added.

Mr Deenihan said his decision would not be easy and would be made following consultation.

“Everyone in this House owns 1916,” said Mr Deenihan. “Most of the parties in this House were formed following what happened in the GPO.”

Mick Wallace (Ind) said he believed the site belonged to the people. “Given the developer in question is knee-deep in Nama and Nama is a State body, the site in question belongs to the taxpayer,” he added.

“It is strange that the State has not taken more control over this site given the taxpayer owns it.”

Mr Deenihan said that as a developer Mr Wallace would know how the system worked. Planning permission in respect of the site was granted through An Bord Pleanála and the city council and other agencies would have to deal with that matter.

As Minister, he only had control or authority over the national monument.

Mr Wallace said that because Nama owned the site and the planning permission, the Minister had more control than he realised.

Mr Deenihan said Nama operated at arm’s length from the Government.