Imelda May leads walk of historic Moore Street area which was final Easter Rising battleground

Singer and actor has lent her support to campaign to redevelop site incorporating laneways and buildings of Easter Rising

Singer and actor Imelda May attracted a huge crowd on Saturday as she hosted a walk around Dublin’s historic Moore Street, the last battleground of the Easter Rising.

May has adopted the cause of the Moore Street buildings associated with the Rising in the long-running battle between campaigners and the UK property giant Hammerson, which is trying to redevelop the area from the Carlton cinema site in O’Connell Street to Moore Street.

May hosted the tour in the company of Honor Ó Brolcháin, a grandniece of Proclamation signatory Joseph Mary Plunkett, and the historian Liz Gillis.

“We are saying no, this part of the city is not for sale and don’t get me started on the Liberties,” she told an assembled audience in O’Connell Street before they all walked off around the site.


It was an exercise in walking and learning together, she added, before she led the swelling crowd through the labyrinth of lanes where the Easter Rising rebels made their last stand before eventually surrendering.

Stopping at the corner of Moore Street and Henry Place, May told the crowd of at least 500 onlookers that she never learned about the contribution of Irish women to the Easter Rising in school.

She asked Honor Ó Brolcháin to read the last letter home from Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, known as The O’Rahilly, who died in what was Sackville Lane and is now O’Rahilly Parade.

“I got more one bullet I think. Tons + tons of love dearie to you + to the boys and to Nell and Anna. It was a good fight anyhow.”

O’Rahilly Parade was the last stop on the tour. It prompted May to read a poet about Dublin called Liberty Belle, a tribute to her native city. “I love the bones of her,” May said.

“She’s like no one/you’ve met before/a rare little flower/ a precious stone/ her sons fought and died/gave their lives/as her daughters heavily bled/ Liberty Belle.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times