An Phoblacht – by John Conway 10th April 2011

John Hedges, Editor
An Phoblacht
Kevin Barry House
44 Parnell Square
Dublin 1

A Chara,

We read your published statement from the “Save Moore Street Dublin Campaign” with deep interest.

The “Save Moore Street Dublin Campaign” and your readership may be interested to know that the 4 buildings mentioned in your piece have already been saved from demolition – demolition for which full planning permission had been granted by the Dublin City Planning Authority and endorsed by the National Planning Authority (An Bord Pleanála) in 1999.

The buildings were saved by the concerted action of a small group of dedicated volunteers, whose low profile, but robust, campaign of canvassing and lobbying to have No.16 Moore Street designated a National Monument finally succeeded in January 2007.

Nos. 14,15 and 17 were included in this designation, on the recommendation of the conservation specialist who was brought in by the Dublin City Council at the behest of the “Save No.16 Moore Street Committee” to carry out an in-depth evaluation on striking an appropriate balance between, on the one hand, commemorating and honouring the participants and events in Moore Street during the latter days of Easter week 1916 while, on the other hand, fulfilling the necessity to regenerate the northern quarter of our capital city’s main street.

The report and recommendations of this conservation specialist received the unanimous endorsement of the Dublin City Council’s 52 Members, of the City Council’s planners and senior staff, and of An Bord Pleanála.

It also received the unanimous support of the 13 Members of the “Save No. 16 Moore Street Committee”, which had caused all this to be achieved.

Among these 13 Members were 6 descendants of the leaders of the rising.  However, it has always been considered by the descendants that the membership of the committee by the 7 people who are not directly related to the 1916 leaders was every bit as valid and valuable as that of the 6 descendants.

Having, against all the odds, succeeded in saving No. 16 Moore Street and its 3 contextual buildings Nos. 14,15 and 17, from the demolition hammer, the struggle by the original “Save 16 Committee” is now continuing towards the securing of our ultimate objective, which is to see No.16 Moore Street and its 3 contextual buildings completely reinstated to their pristine condition and their 1916 specifications (which is very different from their original “as-built” specifications), to be operated in perpetuity as a commemorative place in honour of those who took part in the struggle for Irish nationhood, particularly those involved in and around Moore Street in the latter days of Easter week 1916, and we are totally committed to doggedly continuing our low profile, but robust, efforts to persuade the Minister for Heritage and NAMA to provide the funding and the effort required to achieve this objective in good time for the commemorations at Easter time 2016.

We in the “Save No. 16 Moore Street Committee” recognise the right of the several other organisations which have sprung up, as the 2016 commemorations draw closer, to pursue grandiose but, in our opinion unrealistic, commemorative objectives. However, we would question where they were in 1999, when full planning permission was granted by both relevant authorities to demolish all the buildings, after full advertising and comprehensive due process.

If you require further clarification on any aspect of the forgoing, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will endeavour to be of assistance.

Is mise le meas,

John Conway, Runai, Save No.16 Moore Street Committee (0868559391)