Campaigners may petition EU over threat to 1916 houses

 

LEADERS OF a campaign to save the last terrace of houses occupied by the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising have pledged to take their fight to Europe if the Government approves the demolition of the buildings.

The site stretches from the former Carlton cinema on O’Connell Street to Moore Street and surrounds the national monument houses on Moore Street where the decision to surrender was made.

Developer Joe O’Reilly was last year granted permission for a large-scale development on the site to include retail and residential units, restaurants and car spaces. Proposals for the shopping centre include 14-17 Moore Street becoming a commemorative centre of the events of Easter 1916 highlighting the role the buildings there played.

However, families of the signatories of the Proclamation, who led Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan on a tour of Moore Street yesterday, have rejected the proposal, claiming the structure of the entire terrace would be undermined by planned excavation work.

They want the terrace in its entirety preserved because of the central role it played at the end of the Rising.

“If the Minister approves of anything less, we are prepared to continue this campaign and to take the next step and get intervention from Europe,” said Michael Barry, chairman of the Save Moore Street Committee.

Mr Barry said the committee would bring their case to the relevant European authorities under the Venice Charter, a treaty that gives an international framework for the preservation and restoration of historical buildings. “We can’t let it go because if this goes now it is gone forever,” he said.

James Connolly Heron, grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, called the campaigners’ demand a “very modest one”.

Mr Deenihan said the matter would be discussed at Cabinet level.