Judge to inspect Moore Street buildings in 1916 preservation case

State to contend that some of the buildings are of no significance to the Rising

Commemorative plaque at 16 Moore Street where republicans decided to surrender towards the end of the 1916 Rising. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Commemorative plaque at 16 Moore Street where republicans decided to surrender towards the end of the 1916 Rising. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

A judge has agreed to inspect buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street when hearing a case aimed at ensuring any buildings there linked to the 1916 Rising are preserved as national monuments.

The action, brought by Colm Moore, a nominee of the 1916 Relatives Association against the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, opens at the High Court on February 16th.

When dealing with preliminary matters on Tuesday, Mr Justice Max Barrett was told there is a dispute between the sides concerning whether certain buildings have any links to the Rising.

Michael McDowell SC, for the State, said they would contend some of the buildings date from after the Rising and have “no significance whatsoever”, while others were in ruins after the Rising.

Conleth Bradley SC, for Mr Moore, said those claims are disputed.

When Mr McDowell said it may be necessary to inspect the site, Mr Justice Barrett said he would be happy to do so.

Mr McDowell also told the judge that the State is concerned it may be subject to financial penalties under a building contract if certain works on the Moore Street site are delayed.

Lawyers for the the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht previously said the matters in the case relate to the establishment of a commemorative centre for the 1916 Rising. They said the matters have a certain urgency given the Rising centenary commemorations.

Earlier on Tuesday, the judge heard the Minister has agreed that a number of persons who had sworn affidavits on its behalf would be made available for cross-examination at the hearing, should the judge decide their cross-examination was necessary.

Mr Moore of Sandyford Road, Dundrum, has brought judicial review proceedings against the Minister alleging several buildings on Moore Street and Moore Lane are national monuments which must be preserved.

An undertaking by the State that none of the buildings at issue will be demolished continues pending the hearing.

The case arises after a terrace of buildings at Nos 14 to 17 Moore Street were designated national monuments. The buildings are believed to be the last places where leaders of the Rising gathered prior to their surrender and subsequent execution.

Mr Moore claims the national monument designation should include lands and buildings of the terrace at Nos 13, 18 and 19, plus all and any part of buildings, basements or cellars located on Moore Street and/or Moore Lane.

He claims certain lands and buildings are part of the “Moore Street Battlefield Site “ and Nos 6,7,10,11,12,13,18 and 19 Moore Lane are also national monuments protected by law.

Numbers 8 and 9 Moore Lane come within the curtilage of the terrace located at Nos 15 and 16 Moore Street which are part of a national monument, he contends.

Lands and buildings at No 10 Moore Street, bottling stores situated to the rear of No 10, the O’Brien’s Mineral Water Works at Henry Place, the White House at Henry Place and Hanlon’s at 20/21 Moore Street are also of historic national importance, he claims.

The Minister argues the properties outside of the terrace at numbers 14 to 17 are of no historical significance. Some of the buildings at issue, including No 18 Moore Street are earmarked for demolition.

The issues raised in the judicial review include how a national monument is determined.

The judicial review will be heard alongside separate proceedings brought by Mr Moore under the Planning Acts. These include claims that signs fixed to the terrace at Nos 14 to 17 Moore Street are unauthorised development and should be removed.