National Museum boss to review plans for Moore St

THE director of the National Museum has been asked by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht to assess an application by developer, Joe O’Reilly, to complete building works on the historical section of Dublin’s Moore Street.

Mr O’Reilly, the developer behind the Dundrum Town Centre, has conditional planning permission to redevelop the 2.7 hectare Carlton cinema site which extends out to Henry Street, Parnell Street and Moore Street. However, now he is seeking ministerial consent to build a commemorative centre at the national monument site

It’s understood that once Dr Wallace has reviewed the plans he will make a recommendation but the final decision will be rest with the Cabinet due to the historical significance of the site. In four years time, the centenary of the 1916 Rising will take place and already the Government has formed a cross-party committee to examine how to best commemorate the event.

In 2007, 14-17 Moore Street was designated a national monument due to its links with the Easter 1916 rising. Number 16 was the final headquarters of the rebel leaders.

According to the department, Mr O’Reilly’s “proposed works involve the conservation of 14-17 Moore St as a commemorative centre which will facilitate interpretation of the events of Easter 1916 and, more specifically, the place of No 16 as the final headquarters of the rebel leaders from where they surrendered”.

However, relatives of 16 of the executed rising leaders have strongly urged the minister and Cabinet to turn down the application claiming the structure of the entire terrace will be undermined by excavatory works planned for underneath. They want the site of the national monument to be extended to include the whole 100-yard Moore Street terrace.

“We are completely against that application for ministerial consent as we have the historical documents to vouch for most of that terrace’s historical importance. It is nonsense to do anything else but to extend the national monument status to the whole street. Dublin City Councillors have also voted to support such a move. Minister Deenihan has agreed come on a battlefield walk with us some evening so we can show him the history of this area,” said Save 16 Moore Street spokesman Patrick Cooney.

James Connolly Heron, grandson of 1916 leader James Connolly, brought Enda Kenny on such a trip. Mr Connolly believes the entire terrace should be designated an “historic and cultural quarter”.

“In the words of Enda Kenny, these are ‘laneways of history. The entire plan by Chartered Land needs to go back to the drawing board as the whole terraceis as important as 14-17 Moore St,” he said.

A spokesman for Joe O’Reilly’s company refused to comment beyond saying: “Chartered Land has submitted an application to Minister Deenihan for consent to carry out restoration works to the Moore Street National Monument’.

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