Historic location ‘should be saved’

by Gazette Reporter

Number 18 Moore Street is a 1916 building and should not be demolished, says the great-grandson of rebel hero James Connolly, who wants the area to be considered a national treasure.
James Connolly Heron has already helped secure buildings 14-17 Moore Street as a National Monument.
He confirmed to The City Gazette this week that experts working on his behalf, including two engineers, a roof expert and a brick expert say that Number 18 is a 1916 building. This building currently houses a successful business, Paris Bakery, which is under threat and set to be demolished.
“The developer classified this as a post-1916 building on a non-street inspection; in other words, they looked at the building and decided it was post-1916. We have investigated the building internally and externally and say it is a 1916 building. That report is now being finalised and it has to be presented to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on Moore Street.
“The very fact there is a question mark over the date of this… means the minister should commission an independent inspection of the building. Indeed, he should be commissioning a survey of all buildings in the area that are linked to The Rising.”
The street’s site has been earmarked for a major shopping development but the campaign to Save Moore Street wants the area to be turned into a historic cultural quarter.
The developer seeks to demolish number 18-19 to make way for structural support of numbers 14-17.
Connolly Heron said: “We want the entire terrace, which was occupied in 1916, to be secured and preserved and presented as part of that. We also want the creation of the freedom trail through the area keeping the evacuation route that the volunteers took after they left the GPO, so you would walk the very streets they walked.
“It is one of the original Dublin streets. It pre-dates O’Connell Street; it pre-dates the GPO, so, in its own right, it should be a city treasure.”
Those involved in the campaign are keeping watch on the area day and night should any work suddenly begin. “We are keeping an eye on the area because there are many incidents in the Dublin city planning history where buildings disappear over night,” he said.
“There is a lot at stake. It’s the approaching date of the centenary of The Rising – what are we going to present to the world as our commemoration? There is a proposal to put a museum at the courtyard of the GPO and we would argue that there is a natural link between the GPO where the revolution began and where it ended in Moore Street and the natural link between those two locations is the evacuation route through the laneways.
“In any other country it would be a given that this would be done but here we have to struggle and fight for it,” he added.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Heritage, the Minister’s role in Moore Street is confined to protecting the national monument at numbers 14 to 17 in accordance with the terms of the 2007 Preservation Order.
Any buildings outside that are the responsibility of Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála under the Planning and Development Acts.
“The 2007 Preservation Order was created on the grounds of the historical importance of Number 16 as the final headquarters of the Leaders of the 1916 Rising. Numbers 14, 15 and 17 were included to enhance and preserve the setting of Number 16 and because, collectively, they represented the most significant, complete, discrete and continuous section of substantially intact pre-1916 buildings on the street. Number. 18 Moore Street is outside the scope of the Preservation Order,” said the spokesperson

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