Bhí an aimsir tirm agus gan a bheith fuar, ach scamallach. An overseas coronation took four hours of our national broadcaster as our volunteers took two hours on our 450th Saturday on the street for preservation of market and memory of those who gave their lives in the fight for a Republic.
Bróna, Orla, Deirdre, Steve and Diarmuid were the foireann today.
We had lots of conversations with passing people with Irish and other backgrounds, whether living and working here or visiting. This included a member of the Irish diaspora from Liverpool who knew that people born elsewhere had fought in the 1916 Rising. Indeed, two of the Seven Signatories of the Proclamation executed by the British were immigrants and another was the son of an immigrant.
The market is lively with the additional tent-stalls and that is much needed. There is no reason however why this could not be combined with Irish history and culture.
RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE
Although the most recent report contains some positive material and has been welcomed by some people involved in campaigning, we should reflect on the opportunities for more fitting commemoration that were missed.
In the first place, property speculator Joe O’Reilly should never have been permitted to buy up properties in Moore Street or given planning permission for his huge shopping centre.
Secondly, when he became the biggest debtor on NAMA’s books and he was being paid by the Government to manage his debt, the Moore Street properties should have been seized. Instead, he was permitted to pass them (and the planning permission) on to the Hammerson company.
Andrew Diggins was then a senior official in NAMA and is now Head of Assets Management in Ireland for Hammerson – a rather typical Irish circular flow.
The planning permission should have been voided by DCC’s Planning Department as he had complied with hardly a condition under which it had been approved. The Minister of Heritage should not have appealed the High Court decision that the whole area is a national monument.
Subsequently, when Hammerson applied to change the old planning permission because shopping centres were no longer doing well, DCC’s Planning Department should not have approved the change but they did (we are still awaiting decision on our appeals by An Bord Pleanála).
Of course nothing about all that in the article and once again, the Irish Times chose not to ask our opinion. They got a part factually wrong as it is not “the east side” of Moore St. that is to bear the brunt of demolition/ construction but the east CENTRAL terrace.
In other words, the very terrace occupied by the GPO garrison, tunnelling from house to house in 1916 and containing five buildings which DCC elected councillors have voted to receive historical conservation status – which decision Hammerson is appealing to the High Court.
An earlier article in RTÉ news promoted the new tent stalls in Moore Street on some days, part of livening up the street which we proposed as part of the Market Expert Group on Moore Street. Once again, our opinions were not asked for.
The article quoted one of the traditional traders as saying that the development “comes too late” without asking why she thought that. These traders have worked their stalls in all kinds of weather without heating, adequate lighting or toilets.
Even the water for the flowers at the southern end has to be trolleyed down from the northern end. Promise after promise has been broken to them and their children do not wish to take over. The Village reported that they had been offered a payoff by the Council and Hammerson.
A major problem with this article is a failure to make any reference to the important world and Irish historical and cultural importance of this site.
As yet no update available on the High Court hearing sought by Hammerson to hear their objections to the Council’s naming buildings in “the 1916 Terrace” as “protected structures”. nor on our and others’ appeals to An Bord Pleanála against the Hammerson Plan for Moore Street being approved by DCC’s Planning Department.
SUPPORTING THE CAMPAIGN
Two recent media articles have been published about Moore Street (see comments and links above). Neither asked us our opinion, which is one reason why a very helpful thing you can do is to publicise the campaign, e.g by sharing our posts from time to time, from our Facebook page or website smsfd.ie, reaching people we can’t and which the media doesn’t care to.