Born 1947, to Roddy James Connolly, the son of James Connolly, and Peggy Stafford. My father was a TD and a Senator, and Chairman of the Labour Party. But, more importantly to me, he was one of the few people still alive in the sixties who had actually fought in the Rising in 1916.
In 1966 my father and I were at No.16 Moore Street when the plaque was put on the wall. He explained to me the traumatic events that had unfolded in this small terraced house. Since then I have always had an interest in this place, given the connection my father had with his father being there at the surrender of the Provisional Government to the Crown Forces.
My daughters Ruth and Sarah told me that they had heard Ruadhan MacEoin of An Taisce on the radio, informing the listeners that plans were afoot to demolish No 16 as part of a development called the Millennium Centre. We contacted Ruadhan and accepted his invitation to attend a public meeting in the Mansion House. After the meeting a further meeting was held in the HQ of An Taisce at Taylors Hall. At this meeting I was co-opted to a committee which was to lobby Dublin City Council to have a preservation order placed on the building. This process was helped by the fact that we managed to convince DCC to appoint a conservation architect to examine the building and to report on the events that happened here in 1916 which led to the creation of the State. The order for preservation was granted in 2003/2004.
When I was the Chairman, I decided to approach the Minister of the Environment, Dick Roche, T.D., and ask him to elevate the building to National Monument status. In 2007 he passed the Act, making not only No 16 a National Monument, but, the adjoining buildings, no’s 14, 15 & 17 also.
The proposal by Chartered Land and the original conservation architects report, both of which were approved by DCC’s management and councillors, and subsequently by An Bord Plenala, now forms the framework for what I believe to be the Irish people’s wish to have these 4 buildings restored and converted into a museum /interpretative centre dedicated to all the brave men, women and children (my father) who fought for the State which we have now.