Court urged to resolve Moore St dispute as 1916 Rising event looms

Proinsias Ó Rathaille. Picture: Courtpix

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

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

Mr Justice Max Barrett heard that the Arts and Heritage Minister, Heather Humphreys, may seek injunctions restraining protests at certain Moore St buildings at the centre of the dispute. However, the State’s undertaking to refrain from demolition works will remain in place for the time being, he was told.

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

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

The case arises after a terrace of buildings at 14, 15, 16, and 17 Moore St, 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 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 St and/or Moore Lane.

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

The case was listed for hearing yesterday but the judge was told by Conleth Bradley, 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.

Seamus Woulfe, 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.

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

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

Michael O’Donnell, for Chartered Land, said it must be joined to the entire proceedings so as to protect its “vital” interest in its permission. This case was about several properties, including at 13 and 19 Moore St, that were outside the minister’s ownership as she owned numbers 14-17, he said.

Mr Justice Barrett ruled that 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.


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