Bhí sé beagán gaofar agus beagán fuar but remained dry (like the stall-holders, it is rain we dislike most when we have the campaign table out).
B’iad Bróna, Orla, Deirdre agus Diarmuid an foireann beag inniu, with Christian for awhile and Steve along later.
We were regularly mobbed today with people wanting to sign the petition and one wanting to take a video and post it. Accents from Dublin, other parts of the country and further abroad could be heard. And indeed, should we be surprised? People over the world are sick of property speculators being allowed to do what they like with markets, historic places and, indeed, the cities themselves.
Thomas Geoghan, a relative of Biddy O’Brien who had a fruit and vegetable stall near the butcher’s shop up near Henry Street of the street (i.e “the yuppy end”) who we met last week, came by with two lads to sign the peition, one of whom gave a donation.
There was to be a far-Right anti-migrant demonstration in town we heard and possibly one their followers came to sign the petition with a lot to say for herself, including that we should defend “the building” (!). When we explained that it’s a whole terrace and laneways she said they are under threat “because the Government wants to put migrants in them”. This has never even been a consideration anywhere anytime in Moore Street but her remarks illustrate the racist paranoia and historical ignorance of many of that kind in Ireland today.
We had posters on display about two of the Signatories of the 1916 Proclamation who were executed after being in Moore Street: Patrick Pearse was the son of a migrant and Thomas Clarke was himself a migrant.
We had the Irish Tricolour on display too, which these anti-migrant protesters are fond of waving. The Tricolour was presented to the Irish in 1848 by revolutionary women in Paris. It was given to Thomas Meagher of the Young Irelanders group, of which the most famous was probably Thomas Davis (whose statued stands in Dame Street), whose father was Welsh.
Indeed, Moore Street stall-holders will tell you that about 75% of their customers are migrants. Every Saturday the Indian shopkeeper near where we have our stall lends us a small set of steps to put up our banner and flags etc and for Bróna to use as a chair. And they’ve let us use their electricity a number of times to power speakers for rallies or concerts on the street.
As reported last week, we wrote to some City Councillors twice during the week to ask them to ensure the Council’s legal officers fight to defend the designation of a number of houses in Moore Street as of historical preservation status against property speculator Hammerson’s High Court challenge. On each occasion only Donna Cooney replied, to the effect that Hammerson are not telling the Council the ground for their objection, except that it “interferes with their planning permission” (but not in what way, if they really don’t want to demolish any houses).
People will remember that property speculators illegally demolished the historical house of the O’Rahilly family in Ballsbridge overnight some years ago. Dublin Council took the speculators to court and many were under the impression that the latter would have to rebuild and restore the building. Apparently, the Council were instead offered 40,000 – and they accepted it!
We don’t believe our historic sites should be up for sale at all but even if we were to, imagine letting speculators pay off 40,000 for a site worth millions on the property market ….!
Remember, you can be our media: scaip an scéal.