Save Moore Street Awareness Week 357 – 31 July 2021

Our team was lucky with the rain and only got one short shower. Street sellers hate rain most of all, not just because of its effect on them, their wares but perhaps most of all, their potential customers, who either stay away or hurry past, heads down.
We neglected to photograph any of our team but for the record, Bróna was back with us, Emily came in again and Diarmuid, Seán agus Eric made up our team for the day. We saw Emily last week but it was Bróna’s first sight of her for the first time in ages; Bróna was back on her throne again, a chair we borrow from the Brazilian restaurant.
We borrow steps from the Asian food shop too, in order to put up the rope from which to hang the banner. Young Eric did a good job assembling the legs of the folding table.

As we got there, DCC Sanitation workers were laying a trail of some absorbent material over an oil leak trail from a lorry earlier, the oil having seeped down between the cobbles. There will be a lot more than oil leaks disturbing the area if Hammerson get the go-ahead (see comment further below).


As well as passersby wishing to sign the petition or chat to us, we received a few visitors we had not seen for a while.
One was James, from Wales en route elsewhere, who dropped in to support the campaign and chat with Diarmuid.
The other was Brendan Mulvihill, whose relative Michael Mulvihill was killed in 1916 during the evacuation from the GPO to Moore Street, presumably, since his body was found at the junction of Moore Lane with Henry Place. With a British Army-manned barricade at the Parnell Street end of Moore Lane, the junction with Henry Place was a dangerous place to cross. Mulvihill along with his cousin Austin Kenna, both from Kerry originally had joined the Volunteers in London and they came to Dublin to take part in the Rising.

Kenna took part in the charge on the British barricade at the north end of Moore St but no-one made it that far in the face of machine-gun and rifle fire. The irony was that Kenna survived uninjured (he got back to London without being taken prisoner too), while in the arguably safer evacuation through Henry Place, his cousin was killed.


People were asking us for updates about the campaign to conserve Moore Street. It seems that some people are impressed by the changes in the Hammerson application which Dublin Council is asking for and have posted words to that effect on social media.
We do not think campaigners for Moore Street conservation have any reason to cheer those changes. Furthermore it is dangerous to the campaign to give the impression that requesting fairly minor changes is a victory.
We set out on our part of this campaign in September 2014 to win at least the whole terrace (Nos.10-25), backyards and surrounding laneways. Some of us had as individuals been in another part of the campaign from earlier. We assumed we all wanted the same thing. Certainly we all celebrated the correct High Court judgement in 2016 that the whole quarter is a national historical monument, as we also denounced the Minister of Heritage for appealing the decision (at which she was successful in 2017).
The primary issue is not whether this building or that will be saved or whether the arch or the buildings be low or high. Those, though important in planning, are only about how a street looks, not about what it contains. The Hammerson plan entails the demolition of all houses in the 1916 Terrace with the exception of six. That breaks forever the continuity of the 1916 footsteps tunnelling and scrambling through of around 300 Volunteers, through the entire terrace from No.10 to No.25.
And what is that break for? DCC’s Planning Department indicates it agrees with a new street through from O’Connell Street to Moore Street to “open up Moore Street”. Firstly, that road is more to open up the ILAC than Moore St, since it would run right through up to the front entrance of the ILAC in Moore Street (half-owned by Hammerson). Secondly, WHAT IS THE NEED to “open up Moore Street”? Are they saying that otherwise people won’t be able to find Moore Street? Won’t go there unless there’s a road from O’Connell Street? What is this nonsense?
Nor is there any real discussion of how the street market will survive in the midst of all this demolition and construction. It won’t, of course. The only market-sensitive way to renovate the 1916 terrace would be refacing and repairing a house or two at a time, behind hoardings, allowing movement of pitches to other parts of the street until it was safe to return to their original location.
No discussion on the types of shops that will be given leases either. An important aspect of the market is the small independent businesses but their owners were never given consultative or advisory status to any plans for the street. In the absence of any guarantee to the contrary, one imagines Hammerson leasing shop-space to commercial chains which have no stake in the area and closing at 6pm, with the area dead until the following morning. Unlike those independent businesses that are there now, some for decades and often open late.
We should be uniting around those kinds of objectives and concerns. Tinkering with the demolition plan might make DCC’s Chief Executives look like they’re not completely rolling over for speculators but it does nothing for the campaign or the central objectives for which we are fighting.
Our campaign team wishes to extend condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Eddie O’Neill, Irish socialist Republican, ex-prisoner, anti-fascist and Secretary of the Friends of the International Brigades Ireland. He died earlier last week and was to be given an honour farewell in his native Tyrone later in the day. Tá fíor-laoch ar lár. Slán, Eddie/ Éamonn.

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