Relatives of 1916 Proclamation signatories on hand for debate on No 16 Moore Street

 

SEANAD REPORT:RELATIVES OF the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation attended a Seanad debate about the preservation order on houses on Dublin’s Moore Street, including No 16, the site of the last headquarters of the Easter Rising leaders.

Minister of State for Heritage Michael Finneran welcomed the relatives to the visitors’ gallery as he outlined the Government’s approach to the historic buildings.

He said the preservation order on 14-17 Moore Street was to “ensure the preservation of No 16 Moore Street in the context of the wider redevelopment proposals centred round the former Carlton cinema site”.

Mr Finneran pointed out that the buildings are privately owned and not in State care. “The preservation order does not empower the Minister to carry out works or to oblige the owner to undertake works with the intention, for example, of replicating the structures that existed up to 1916.”

He rejected calls that the order be extended to include the entire terrace because it would not add to the significance of No 16.

Fine Gael Senator Paschal Donohoe said the assets of the site developer “now play a significant role in the National Asset Management Agency. The fact that the State will, therefore, play a direct role in decisions that will be made on their property, assets and loans opens the possibility of involvement of broader considerations.”

He said, “if we put in place a centre, a facility or a monument, it should clearly outline what happened in the properties and the perimeter and area should reflect the location”.

Fianna Fáil Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú said the Minister had presented the status quo “but it cannot end there”.

It was clear, he said, “that the prospective developer is going to appropriate more than 60 per cent of that historic environment. This is not acceptable.”

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coughlan said they should consider “how important this site might be from a tourism point of view. It is in the centre of our capital city and could make a wonderful visitor centre.”

Green Party Senator Mark Dearey said that “while the physical structures on the site are unprepossessing, that is no reason for us to be snobbish . . . No 16 is a site where a seminal decision [in the nation’s history] was made”.