Imelda May to host walking tour remembering women of 1916 Rising

Event also to raise awareness of Moore Street residents’ plan for cultural quarter

Singer and actor Imelda May is to host a walking tour of key sites associated with women who participated in the 1916 Rising.

The Dublin tour, which will be delivered by historians Liz Gillis and Honor Ó Brolcháin, also aims to raise awareness of Moore Street residents’ plan to develop a cultural quarter in the area.

May said she was “delighted” to host the tour on October 14th.

“Moore Street is a very important part of our built history and our revolutionary history,” she said.


“We want to do this on behalf of the women that were involved in the rising and hopefully save this place from yet another developer, who it doesn’t feel like cares much for our history.

“I think it is crucial that it is treated delicately because it means so much to people and it can’t be pushed all the way through without speaking to people of the area.”

May said her grandmother was in Cumann na mBan, with the singer adding she would like to see a cultural heritage centre in the area.

Ms Gillis will lead the tour and focus on the women and the important roles they played in 1916. She said three female Irish revolutionaries were in Moore Street buildings during the rising.

“Elizabeth O’Farrell, Julia Grenan, Winifred Carney were actually in these buildings behind us during 1916,” she said.

“This is where the garrisons surrendered from. It was Elizabeth O’Farrell herself that walked from these buildings up to the barricade where she treated [communicated] with the British on behalf of Patrick Pearse.

“This is such an important part of our city’s history, our country’s history – and it’s got character, we don’t want to lose that.”

Ms Ó Brolcháin, the grand-niece of rising participant Joseph Plunkett, said she was attached to the area as a “real street and a moment in history”.

She said: “To have an artist like Imelda May participating in our campaign to save Moore Street and the surrounding laneways of history is a wonderful and unique opportunity.”

The free Moore Street Preservation Trust’s Women Of The Rising – Save Moore St walking tour will take place on October 14th, leaving from the GPO at 2.30pm. The tour is open to all members of the public and there is no requirement to book tickets.

The Save Moore Street campaign said it is seeking the conservation and appropriate restoration of the “1916 battleground and oldest surviving open-air street market in Dublin”.

It has presented counter proposals to the plans put forward by UK-based development company Hammerson.

Hammerson said its Dublin Central project will “regenerate this important part of Dublin, breathing new life and vibrancy into a unique area with an important history”.

A spokeswoman said: “Our priority has been to preserve and celebrate the site’s heritage whilst bringing forward an appropriate proposal that seeks to enhance its history and tell its story.

“We are passionate about reinstating the site as a focal point of Dublin life for the people of our capital city.” — PA