Moore Street protesters will ‘resist’ attempts to remove them

Activists are occupying the site of proposed Easter Rising Interpretive Centre in Dublin

Protestors occupying historical buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Protestors occupying historical buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

The group occupying the site of the proposed Easter Rising Interpretive Centre on Dublin’s Moore Street have said that they will be there until their demands are met and will “resist” any possible attempts to remove them.

A band of about 40 activists held a demonstration along the disputed terrace on Saturday afternoon, with flags and banners reading “Save our heritage” and “History under destruction”.

The activists, from the Save Moore Street group, are demanding that detailed independent surveys be conducted on numbers 13, 18 and 19 Moore Street.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has said these houses are of no historical significance, unlike numbers 14 to 17, which it contends housed the last of the Rising leaders as British troops closed in a century ago.

The activists are centred in number 18, which is slated for demolition along with numbers 13 and 19.

They have occupied the premises since Thursday, staying overnight in sleeping bags and relying on outside donations.

Save Moore Street campaigner Mel MacGiobúin said no attempts have been made to obstruct the group’s activities or to remove them, after construction teams contracted by the State to carry out refurbishments on numbers 14 to 17 downed tools in response to the campaign on Thursday.

Mr MacGiobúin said any attempts to remove those currently occupying the site will be met with resistance and protesters will stay there for “as long as it takes”.

“We will resist. We cannot let these buildings be demolished,” he said.

“There have been no independent, verifiable surveys done to back up the kind of statements they have been making.

“There’s planning permission for a large shopping centre on this site that will stretch from here right through to O’Connell Street.

“In a tiny portion of that will be four buildings . . . there will be an interpretive centre in the middle of a shopping centre which will have very limited access to the general public.”

Rising descendants

Following a series of assurances provided by the department, the Save Number 16 Moore Street group, which contains descendants of Rising leaders such as James Connolly, agreed to withdraw its support for the sit-in.

Mr MacGiobúin accused other groups of making “spurious” statements and said he wasn’t aware of the involvement of any other organisation in the latest demonstration.

“There have been groups of that nature who have put out quite spurious statements and I don’t know anything about it, it’s news to me,” he said.