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Media reports that the State, through Nama funding, is to preserve and restore the 1916 national monument are welcome. Under the ownership of Chartered Land, it has become derelict and endangered.
But questions about this proposed funding need to be answered.
Who is to be the recipient of the public monies being set aside for restoration? If it is Chartered Land, then the State is rewarding them for their failure to maintain and preserve the monument, contrary to the planning regulations.
Is this public money being set aside for a restoration of the buildings by the State, per se, or in support of Chartered Lands’ planning application to obliterate the surrounding area, which includes other buildings linked to the 1916 Rising. This would be contrary to the recommendations of the National Museum and the Dublin City Council Moore Street Advisory Committee. Why was this announcement made before the Minister receives the revised, Chartered Land consent application for the proposed work to the monument, and before the planning authority considers what are major revisions to the original planning application to demolish and build on the monument itself? What will the restoration cost? Does the monument’s dereliction since it was closed in 2008 impact this? A conservation plan should not blind us to the important questions that this announcement poses.
Until they are addressed and answered satisfactorily, the campaign to protect and preserve what the National Museum describes as ‘the most historic site in modern Irish history’ will continue.
James Connolly Heron
The Concerned Relatives of the Signatories to the 1916 Proclamation
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