Campaigners for the preservation of a derelict Dublin street synonymous with the 1916 Easter Rising have held a rally calling for Government intervention.
The event was organised by the Moore Street Preservation Trust, whose membership includes descendants of the rebels who staged the insurrection against British rule.
The leaders of the rising retreated from the GPO on O’Connell Street to a row of terraced houses on Moore Street in the final stages of the rising.
Revolutionary leader Patrick Pearse formally surrendered to the Crown forces on the street.
Four properties in the red brick terrace row – 14 to 17 – are designated as a national monument and there are plans to turn them into a museum.
However, there are commercial plans to develop the rest of the street – proposals that would see the demolition of homes adjacent to the national monument.
Dublin City Council recently granted permission for two applications to develop parts of Moore Street and nearby Henry Street.
The applications by UK developers Hammerson were part of its masterplan to regenerate the wider area around O’Connell Street on the north side of the city centre.
More than 200 demonstrators gathered for the rally on Saturday afternoon.
They heard calls for Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to intervene by issuing preservation orders that would prevent demolition.
Micheal Mac Donncha, the secretary of the Moore Street Preservation Trust, said the area should be “sensitively” regenerated as a historic quarter, along with the return of on-street market trading.
“We are calling for Minister Darragh O’Brien to intervene,” said the Sinn Fein councillor and former Dublin lord mayor.
“He can withhold consent from the developer’s proposed works which impinge on the national monument.”
Hammerson says its plans will “appropriately regenerate a historic part of Dublin”, ensuring the retention and celebration of its “long-standing traditions and important heritage”.
The campaigners are intending to appeal the planning approvals to An Bord Pleanala.
A spokesman for Mr O’Brien’s department said the minister is precluded under legislation from “commenting or getting involved in relation to any individual planning case”.
He said the Moore Street Advisory Group presented its final report to the minister last year.
“This report included recommendations in relation to the national monument at 14-17 Moore Street as well as recommendations for the future development of the wider Moore Street area. This report was noted by Cabinet in May 2021,” he said.
“The Moore Street Advisory Group recommended in its report to the ministers that the process embarked on by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the National Monuments Service of the department to restore the national monument and open it up to the public as soon as possible should continue.
“Officials from both this department and the OPW have been liaising to progress this.
“It is understood that the OPW are in the process of appointing a team to carry out phase one essential works to the monument, which will ensure stability and provide a pathway for the phase two completion works themselves at the monument.”