Study to assess if O'Connell St could be on 1916 tourist trail


MINISTER FOR Tourism Leo Varadkar says he has asked Fáilte Ireland to carry out a study to assess whether the upper end of Dublin’s O’Connell Street could be turned into a 1916 tourist trail.

Mr Varadkar yesterday accompanied relatives of the descendants of the Rising on a tour of several historic sites in the area to mark the anniversary of the start of the insurrection.

The 2.7-hectare Carlton Cinema site takes in most of a block on the upper end of O’Connell Street and fronts on to Henry Street, Moore Street, O’Rahilly Parade and Parnell Street. The area covers much of the route taken by the leaders of the Rising after they fled the GPO, and also includes the rebels’ final headquarters in 16 Moore Street.

Mr Varadkar said he would ask Fáilte Ireland to carry out an assessment of the tourist potential of the area and whether “a tourist trail” could be developed.

The site is owned by developer Joe O’Reilly, who built the Dundrum Town Centre in south Dublin, with the loans associated with it controlled by the National Assets Management Agency.

Mr O’Reilly was granted planning permission by Bord Pleanála in 2010 for the 800,000 sq ft redevelopment of the site. However, Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan remains in a process of consultation with the National Museum regarding the planning application.

James Connolly Heron, a great grandson of James Connolly, yesterday described Mr Varadkar’s attendance as a significant development.

“This battlefield site has the potential to be a magnet for tourists from all over the world as we approach the centenary of the seminal event in our history.”

The houses between 14 and 17 Moore Street were designated national monuments in 2007.