Campaign set up to save 16 Moore Street

 

A campaign was launched yesterday at a meeting in Tailors' Hall, Dublin, to save No 16 Moore Street, the building that served as the final headquarters of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

The meeting, which was hosted by the antiquities and national monuments committee of An Taisce, was addressed by politicians, including Joe Costello TD, Cllr Larry O'Toole, and Tomás MacGiolla. Also present was the grandson of James Connolly, John Connolly and his daughter, as well as conservationists, including Damien Cassidy and Dominic Dunne.

The gathering was told of the significance of the building as well as its dilapidated state. Although it is scheduled to be preserved in the city draft development plan, much of the roof has been lost over the last two years.

Joe Costello, who said the building was of "huge heritage value and huge historical significance", noted that it had also been vandalised. The house is "dying a slow death from exposure to the elements", he added.

The architect and designer of heritage attractions, Mark Leslie, put the services of his company Martello Media at the disposal of the campaign. He said there was an opportunity to create a "very manageable and very affordable" interpretive centre at No 16 and "its moral value is painfully obvious". He said that at present there was nowhere specifically dedicated to interpreting the events surrounding Easter Week.

Mr MacGiolla said the original of the 1916 surrender note was "still in the possession of the British military", and it should be sought for display in a restored No 16.

Dublin MEP and TD Eoin Ryan said he was "aghast and totally outraged that such an intrinsic part of our heritage should be allowed to fall into disrepute". Mr Ryan's grandfather, then a medical student, treated the wounded James Connolly in the house after the provisional government had fallen back from the GPO. He said he would raise it at the earliest opportunity with Minister for the Environment Dick Roche, who he believed "is positively disposed to treating it as a matter of priority".

The campaign has received the backing of historians including Prof Dermot Keogh of UCC. A working group has been set up and plans to arrange a meeting with city manager John Fitzgerald and the owners of No 16.