Save Moore Street Awareness Week 356 – 24 July 2021

One of our team woke up late this morning and had to wash, shave and rush out without breakfast. When he got down to Moore Street, 5-10 minutes late, he found the rest of today’s team already there: Ian, Seán and Seán Jnr. We won’t say who the oversleeper was but Diarmuid was the last to arrive.
Despite most of the team’s inexperience of setting up f, the rope, banner, flags and table got set up pretty quickly. The table, located and rescued earlier during the week, took two tries (but who’s counting?).
Seán Jnr. took up position at the table (normally Bróna’s throne – she’ll be back soon) and was soon informing people where to sign, wiping the pen with hygiene wipes and handing out a leaflet to those who hadn’t already met our leafleters, Seán and Ian (which many had). Once everything had been set up, chair borrowed from the Brazilians, steps returned to the South Asians, Diarmuid leafleted too but was soon immersed in relating some of the history of the street to interested people, along with giving an update on the campaign.
It was a sunny day but nothing like the heat last week and there were occasions of breeze too. We enjoyed it, as did the shoppers, strollers and of course the stallholders. Probably the shopkeepers did too but they don’t experience it as directly as those outside, of course.
It was our busiest Saturday since we came back from our Covid19 “safe houses” earlier this month, over 100 leaflets handed out and we filled two petition sheets both sides (40 lines total per sheet). How many signatures do we have so far, you ask? We stopped counting at around 130,000.
Being busy is good but it’s sometimes difficult to make sure everyone gets the attention they deserve and might need. We had an interaction with one elderly racist – it was a pity she could not see the people settled here with origins in other lands who signed our petition among which, in the rush, we managed only to identify Russian, Mauritian, Spanish and one who was definite he was Asturian (not Spanish). Not to mention Bart, a member of our core team for years. Of course over the centuries people from many different backgrounds have settled in Ireland and contributed to it in work, commerce, sport, art, literature, music, culture and language. They fought for Ireland too and some died for her.
Some of the people who passed us were on their way to a Cuban people solidarity event at the picturesque Ha’penny Bridge; they signed the petition and wished us well. In fact, many thanked us for our work and said they would join our FB page (whether they remember when they get home is of course something else!). We had accents from Belfast and Derry speaking to us today, as well as Dublin and others.
There was a big surprise for us: we saw Emily on the street! Emily was a regular on our stall for a long period, then came back for a shorter period, before she returned to the ‘States, where she completed her PhD (partly about Moore St.). She’s back for a while on another study program and we’re looking forward to seeing more of her.

The second surprise, creeping up on Ian, was Bart, whose job now normally requires him working on a Saturday. It was good to see him again too. In his spare time, Bart has been working on our website, which we expect to launch very soon.


One of the petition signers told us his mother used to work in Sheils, a shop that used to be in the 1916 Terrace and asked us about old photos etc – we recommended the FB page Moore Street Memories. Leah Furlong with her daughter, told us that her mother, Tessie Furlong, was one of those arrested when they were fighting for the right to sell in the street (we’ll write more about that in another post and on the new website). This was covered by RTÉ and Leah showed us a photo of her mother in a demonstration with a placard. Tessie may have been one of the two women fined who refused to pay and were sent to jail. There was a protest march over that but this may be a different one, about jailed political activists  Support for Imprisoned Street Traders 1985

Independent TD Tony Gregory and Christy Burke (Joe Costello TD too) also took part in protests regarding street traders; Gregory refused to sign a bond to “be of good behaviour” and spent some weeks in Mountjoy Jail too, which became the focus of protests
Here’s an older story of hard life and fatal assault in 19th Century Moore Street:  Struggle, protests and murder: Street trading in the rare auld times


Earlier in the week, Diarmuid photographed Gavin Roche, who owns the tiny “everything” shop next to Troy’s, the butchers. Gavin tells us that there used to be a laneway where the shop is now and that might have been where the archway entrance to the original Moore Street Market was.

As usual, we directed a number of people to the O’Rahilly Monument in O’Rahilly Parade, off Moore Street (facing Gavin’s shop). Like thousands of other passersby, they are unaware of the existence of the Monument which Dublin City Council persist in not signposting, despite promises to our requests over three years that they would erect those. Perhaps promotion of such history is an inconvenience if one favours property speculator demolition and redevelopment plans.

The latest we’ve heard on the Hammerson application by the way is that it is suspended but we’ll update you all on that as we learn more.
As always, you can help the campaign by sharing our posts now and again. Slán go fóill.

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