Urgent hearing over Moore Street buildings dispute needed

Case has been taken against the Minister for Arts and Heritage over the preservation of buildings linked to 1916

A legal dispute over preservation of buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street linked to the 1916 Rising must be urgently decided or a commemorative centre will not be ready for the Rising centenary commemorations, the State has told the High Court.

A legal dispute over preservation of buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street linked to the 1916 Rising must be urgently decided or a commemorative centre will not be ready for the Rising centenary commemorations, the State has told the High Court.

 

A legal dispute over preservation of buildings on Dublin’s Moore Street linked to the 1916 Rising must be urgently decided or a commemorative centre will not be ready for the Rising centenary commemorations, the State has told the High Court.

The case was due to open on Tuesday but could not proceed for various reasons and has been rescheduled for hearing on Friday.

Mr Justice Max Barrett heard the Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys may seek injunctions restraining protests at certain Moore Street buildings at the centre of the dispute.

He was also told the State’s undertaking to refrain from demolition works will remain in place for the time being.

The proceedings against the Minister have been brought by Colm Moore, as nominee of the 1916 Relatives Association, and are aimed at preserving any buildings in the Moore Street area with links to the Rising.

Mr Moore of Sandyford Road, Dundrum, alleges several buildings on Moore Street and Moore Lane are national monuments which must be preserved.

The case arises after a terrace of buildings at numbers 14,15,16 and 17 Moore Street, believed to be the last buildings where leaders of the Rising gathered prior to their surrender and subsequent execution, were designated national monuments.

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

He has brought judicial review proceedings and two sets of proceedings under Section 160 of the Planning Acts.

The case was listed for hearing on Tuesday but the judge was told by Conleth Bradley SC, for Mr Moore, it could not proceed due to delays on the part of the State side in filing its legal documents.

His side had complied with the timelines set for exchange of legal documents, counsel said.

Seamus Woulfe SC, for the Minister, said the delays arose from a combination of factors, including a conflict of interest on the part of one of its experts and a failure of the other side to raise certain planning matters from the outset.

Counsel also argued that Chartered Land, which has permission for development of a major shopping centre in the Moore Street area, should have been joined to Mr Moore’s proceedings from the outset. That shopping centre development will incorporate the Rising commemorative centre, the judge heard.

Mr Woulfe also said protesters have been blockading the site and preventing a contractor coming out onto it. It may be necessary to seek injunctions because what was involved was “a national monument for the people of Ireland”.

Michael O’Donnell BL, for Chartered Land, said it considered it must be joined to the entire proceedings so as to protect its “vital” interest.

This case was about several properties, including numbers 13 and 19 Moore Street, that were outside the Minister’s ownership as she owned numbers 14-17, he said.

Mr O’Donnell said the company wanted to be a notice party to the judicial review and a co-respondent with the Minister in the Section 160 case.

Mr Bradley said the Section 160 proceedings relate only to works being carried out by the Minster, which his side allege are unauthorised, and there was no challenge to the planning permission held by Chartered Land.

His side did not oppose the firm being a notice party to the judicial review but was opposed to it being joined to the Section 160 matters. Counsel also rejected there was any defect in how his case had been advanced.

Mr Justice Barrett ruled Chartered Land should be joined to the entire proceedings. Having fixed deadlines for exchange of legal documents, he listed the case for hearing on Friday.

The judge was previously told there is a major dispute between the sides concerning whether certain buildings have any links to the Rising. Lawyers for the Minister also said she is concerned about possible financial penalties under a building contract if certain works on the Moore Street site are delayed.