Bhí an aimsir go breá for this time of year.
Bróna, Orla, Deirdre and Diarmuid were the foireann today with Steve coming by to help towards the end (and we went over by half an hour). Somebody asked us recently “What do you do?” We hand out leaflets explaining the importance of conserving Moore Street as a street market and a historic battleground, collect stories and petition signatures, sell campaign badges (only two left), explain where the struggle is at currently and inform people who were unaware of the history or of the location of the O’Rahilly Monument. In addition we take account of what else is going on in the street, especially with regard to stall-holders and small business shops.
We do also lobby Councillors, TD and lodge planning objections (which have to be paid for) but our main reliance is on the people – YOU – which is why we think it’s important to have a visible presence on the Street itself and we’ve now completed our 430 Saturday on the cobbles.
Gillian Ryan stopped to sign our petition and told us some interesting things about buildings in the street, including No.55. On the apex of that building is a Grotesque (like a Gargoyle but without water coming out of it), from which our logo is taken and which is minus the tip of its wing – shot off by a bored British soldier in 1916, the story goes. Gillian said the building was damaged in 1916 and insurance would not pay out so the owner, Mr. Cunningham, had it repaired at his own cost but included an angry representation of his own face in the frontal decorations.
Gillian’s grandmother Julia Brennan lived in nearby Dominic Street and had a vegetable stall up towards the south end of Moore Street, near near FX Buckley, the butchers shop).
Along with Dublin accents from people coming to sign our petition there were some from other Irish counties (including a couple visiting from Ulster that knew Diarmuid from singing circles) and some from other lands including Ania from the Balearic Islands (where they speak a dialect of Catalan) who chatted about the history and signed the petition.
The French element was introduced by Veronique Crombee, a strong supporter of our campaign and very interested in Irish history, though based in France and her Vietnamese friend, also a supporter. It’s three years since we’ve seen Veronique!
Steve presented Deirdre with a personal calendar he had made for her with a photograph of her at some event for every month.
The tent stalls were up again and will be so until Christmas. We knew they were due to stop then but the rumour is that they will reopen some time in the New Year.
We think this is on the whole a good thing since it makes the market street busy, gives it “a buzz”, you might say and increases the variety of merchandise being sold on the street. Meat, fruit, vegetables, flowers and fish (great to see that stall back again a few days a week) are sold on stalls in Moore Street but in the past they also sold delf, household utensils, footwear (second-hand and new), 2nd-hand clothes, furniture, ice-cream and fish and chips.
Vinyl records were sold here too and in fact some of them were actually pressed here, including on 14th December 1971 the chart-topping Men Behind the Wire, protesting against internment without trial by the British in Ireland that year. A van near our pitch today was selling vinyl records and performing music too for the first time out on the street since 2005, though a nearby supermarket was selling some a couple of weeks ago. Bread was baked in Moore Street, and a number of pubs served stall-holders and workers from the GPO and from the Irish Independent, both nearby.
But the political history of the street needs to be highlighted too, the surrender point of not only the 1916 Irish national rising but the first rising against world war, in which the first workers’ army and the first revolutionary female military organisation took part, along with others.
We received notification that one of the two newer applications by Hammerson, Nos. 5126/22 and 5127/22, to include Moore Lane and O’Connell Street, has been “agreed” but we are investigating what exactly this means. The other three already agreed by DCC’s Planning Department are the subject of appeals to an Bord Pleanála, with no decision expected before January 2023.
You can help by spreading the word about the campaign on social media and by sharing our posts from time.