With a few as láthair for different reasons, our foireann numbered three on Saturday at 11.30am: Bróna, Orla agus Diarmuid.
As usual, many signatures, many conversations. While we welcome the support of all generations, the interest of parents with young and from young people themselves continues to be heartening for the future.
A Japanese student doing a project on Moore Street had talked to a number of stall holders for their views during the week and some also referred her to us. On Saturday she came in to see us, Diarmuid helped her with her project and she took photos of us together. She sat down making origami storks flying to give to those who had helped, including us. Arigato/ go raibh maith agat!
We were there so long we took LOTS of photos to give a flavour of our day, probably too many but here’s a selection and apologies if it’s too many.
Bhí sé FUAR! Bróna and Orla were well armoured against the cold, as was Diarmuid – except for the sandals: “I’ll never make decisions on footwear by looking out the window in future!”
The Save Moore Street Preservation Trust group held their advertised “Women of the Revolution” history walk, though much later than advertised and we stayed on the street way past our normal hours for that reason. When we first began the weekly stall ten years ago, we were doing something like 11am-5pm but gradually reduced it to 2 hours weekly in the interests of sustainability (and also because a lot of social and political events people want to attend take place on Saturday afternoons) – though those taking part in the 6-week blockade February-March 2016 were doing shifts 6.30am-4pm (and it was very cold then too).
The Trust attracted a very large crowd, advertised as it was to be led by a well-known female singer and also well-known female historian. The Trust’s walk had a number of stops, one of them right across the Moore Street crossroads, which led to some complaints from traders as the road was completely blocked and they could sell little as long as it lasted. We have held many events on the street but always strove to have as little negative impact on the street traders and shops as possible.
The walk was led past our stall without any recognition of our existence (though the historian, Liz Gillis, did approach our stall to sign our petition). Did we expect: “Over there is the SMSFD group, on the street every Saturday for ten years, collected over 380,00 petition signatures and caused the occupation and blockade of buildings to prevent demolition in 2016. You may want to sign their petition”? Hardly, though it would have been nice; we understand that after all, our group is independent of any political party.
The crowd was so big that it stretched both sides of the road; many of those passing near us did ask for our leaflets and some even to sign the petition, though of course most did not have time for that as they would have missed some or all of the event at the next stop.
Hopefully the event will increase awareness and interest in this conservation struggle against property speculators that has been ongoing for over two decades now and have them bring pressure on to their respective elected representatives and the media.
A much smaller commercial history walking tour did approach us earlier and engage us; we were happy to talk to them and to answer questions.
Some of the SMSP Trust tour participants did return afterwards to our stall to engage us, sign the petition and we also sold some campaign badges. But it had been a long day and we were tired and cold enough so we packed up stall, posters, banner and flags for the following Saturday: Week 474.
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY FOILED
Last week (but after we had left) the purse of one of the traders in the new tent-stalls was snatched; the thief was grabbed by the husband of another trader but he wriggled free. One of the security staff chased and caught him but the thief, crying, escaped again, leaving his jacket behind. Contrary to the propaganda of many racists, the victim’s background is abroad while that of the thief: Irish. Both men who struggled with him are Irish too.
Well, a small-time thief, unlike the much bigger and vastly more powerful ones …
A Hammerson planning application which initially only mentioned O’Connell Street when viewed under the reference number 5126/22 included a lot more, e.g:“Also, the site includes No. 13 Moore Lane, No. 14 Moore Lane (otherwise known as Nos. 1 – 3 O’Rahilly Parade and Nos. 14 – 15 Moore Lane or Nos. 1 – 8 O’Rahilly Parade and Nos. 14 – 15 Moore Lane) and the public realm associated with O’Rahilly Parade, Moore Lane, Henry Place and a portion of O’Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1. The site is otherwise bound by Henry Place and Nos. 59 – 60 O’Connell Street Upper to the south, the east side of Moore Lane to the west and west side of O’Connell Street Upper to the east and No. 42 O’Connell Street Upper to the north.”
As we suspect, many others concerned with Moore Street, Moore Lane and O’Rahilly Parade, we had not objected (made observations) against that application as the initial entry didn’t mention any of those and DCC Planning approved the application. No doubt An Bord Pleanála will now disqualify anyone who has not made an observation on the original application from appealing the decision to grant it.
And something else: the application includes a facility for a station for the long-planned Metro underground line, so that Hammerson will be able to rent a public transport station to the Irish State. No doubt Hammerson’s Director of Ireland (!), Connor Owens, who was a Director in NAMA, will be good at negotiating with his former colleagues and contacts in State agencies. Instead of NAMA seizing his holdings, we remember, the State agency allowed Joe O’Reilly, their biggest debtor at one time, to transfer his holdings in Moore Street, including half the ILAC and his planning permission for a huge shopping mall, to Hammerson. They of course then flipped that Planning permission into the current planning applications with an always compliant Dublin Planning Department agreeing.