Taoiseach urged to intervene in sale of 1916 Moore Street site

14-17 Moore Street was last site occupied by rebels before surrendering to British armed forces

Sinn Féin and relatives of the 1916 leaders have called for direct intervention by the Taoiseach and members of the Cabinet to stop the proposed auction of 14-17 Moore Street.

The Moore Street site was the last place where rebels held out during the Easter Rising. No 16 was the location where the decision was taken by rebels to surrender on Saturday, April 29th, 1916.

A letter signed by members of Sinn Féin and various relatives of the leaders of Rising calls on Enda Kenny to remove the 1916 sites from the Project Jewel portfolio of developer Joe O'Reilly, currently under the control of Nama.

“We are now making a final and formal request to you and members of your Government to act immediately to ensure that the protection and preservation of the battlefield is ensured,” the letter states. “The 1916 ‘freedom quarter’ must be removed from Project Jewel by whatever means necessary in the national interest,” it continues.

The four buildings were declared national monuments in 2007 but have since remained derelict. In June, a human chain was formed around the premises in the hope of protecting the area.

Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan, chairwoman of the Oireachtas committee on Moore Street, said that direct intervention was needed by the Taoiseach to ensure the historic site was preserved. "It's the most important site in Irish history, the National Museum has stated this. It's part of our heritage and if something to the site, it's lost forever," she said.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said the Government has been engaged in discussions with the monument owners to conclude the transfer of the property into State ownership as soon as possible.

In March, Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys announced the Government planned to acquire 14-17 Moore Street, allowing a 1916 commemorative centre to be developed at the site. *

Plans for a centre are being developed in consultation with the 1916 Relatives Association with the hope of the centre being completed and open to the public next year.

*This article was amended on July 9th, 2015