Lá breá gheimhridh a bhí againn – it was a fine winter’s day we had, though it got colder later on. In the Irish seasonal calendar, winter continues until the end of January but it is more than possible that we’ll have our winter’s weather in February and March – cá bhfios?
Bhí cúigear againn sa bhfoireann inniu: Bróna, Orla, Diarmuid agus Seán.
We had engagement with quite a lot of people but took only a few photos (low battery etc.)
A man with the family name of Boland was discussing with Bróna whether their two families were related meanwhile a man from Georgia (that’s the one in Eastern Europe, not in the southern USA) was asking what we were campaigning about and though his spoken English was not great, seemed very interested.
Some time later we had Gary McAuley and his daughter Molly, wanting to pose for a photograph to in front of the banner to send to their father/ grandfather John McAuley in London. We took one with their camera and also with ours and they will go into our album of Moore Street solidarity photos. It turned out that the McAuleys lived in an area of SE London where Diarmuid has lived for decades also and where he was a co-founder of the Lár-Ionad na nGael, the local Irish community centre. Also the home of Jim Connell, from Meath, who wrote the Red Flag anthem is in that area too.
Imayam, a young man from Brazil stopped to talk to us, very definite about the importance of people keeping their history and culture alive; he thought we should all speak Irish and was delighted that a number of us in the campaign group are Irish speakers. Imayam’s been here for two-and-a-half years, workin in information technology.
Teresa Brady was talking to us for quite a while about her relatives – she told us that she is related to Pádraig Pearse, whose mother was Margaret Brady, who had moved into Ballybough. Teresa has been researching the history and putting it together to pass on to her descendants. Pádraig Pearse was one of the Seven Signatories of the iconic Proclamation of Independence and with another four spent his last hours of freedom in Moore Street.
Pearse was Commander-in-Chief of the insurrectionary coalition in 1916, himself a member of the IRB and of the Irish Volunteers. But Teresa also had a relative in the Irish Citizen Army, one of the female Volunteers in the City Hall/ Dublin Castle garrison.
The word on the street is that Dublin City Council’s Planning Department is going to give its decision on the Hammerson application for the Moore Street area on the 12th of this month. What it will be we don’t know but in the past the Manager of that Department has always supported the property speculators’ planning applications for Moore Street, though at times with some minor changes.
Will we be back to conservation demonstrations as there have been periodically since 2009? Or occupations and blockades, as there were in 2016? We can of course pay to lodge an appeal against a bad decision to An Bord Pleanála but the record of decisions there is not good and in the past it approved the giant shopping centre plan of the previous speculator, Joe O’Reilly, even against the recommendation of its own officer.
By the way, the hotel planning application for part of the site of the traditional music pub, the Cobblestone, was rejected recently by DCC’s Planning Department but the property speculator is appealing that decision to an Bord Pleanála.
Feicimíd – we’ll see. Keep spreading the word and keep an eye on the campaign – we might be needing feet on the street.