Government approves 1916 commemorative centre plans for Dublin's Moore Street

Wednesday 30 April 2014 22.46
Government gives final go-ahead for 1916 commemorative centre on Moore Street in Dublin
Government gives final go-ahead for 1916 commemorative centre on Moore Street in Dublin

Plans for a new 1916 commemorative centre in Dublin's Moore Street have been given the final go-ahead by the Government.

Development company Chartered Land, which has planning permission for a massive retail development surrounding the site, has said it hopes to begin work as soon as possible.

It is hoped the centre will be completed in time for the centenary of the Rising with funding of €5 million provided by NAMA.

Four buildings at numbers 14 to 17 Moore St - which are the only buildings used in the 1916 Rising to survive - have been declared a national monument.

Architects have reported that much of the interiors, such as fireplaces and stairs, have remained intact since 1916 and they have found the remains of tunnels made through the walls by rebels.

The leaders of the Rising held their last council of war in Number 16 after retreating from the General Post Office and attempting to fight their way out through British lines

Last year, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan gave permission for the developers to restore the national monument and build an interpretative centre.

But the Minister also added a number of conditions including scrapping an underground carpark planned to be built under the monument and that back yards of the buildings will have to preserved, meaning the retail development will be further removed from it.

The developers have agreed that any piling to be carried out to build the shopping centre will be further away from the monument.

The Minister today gave his consent to the revised plans saying "the decision I have made will secure the future of one of the most important sites in modern Irish history.

"Together with the interpretive centre planned for the GPO, the Moore Street commemorative centre will provide a key focal point for our commemoration of the events, the people, and the sacrifices they made in 1916".

The decision was welcomed by one group of relatives of the 1916 leaders, Nuala O'Rahilly-Price of the Save 1916 Group.

She said: "We were concerned that there might be problems in providing the money and we were frustrated by the neglect of these buildings for decades

"We believe the plans are very well worked out and will provide a memorable experience of the last sad days of the Rising."

But James Connolly Heron of the Save Moore St Campaign, which had been pushing for the preservation of the entire terrace said the commemorative centre was a "PR exercise to cloak the obliteration of what the National Museum has described as the important historical site in modern Irish history".

He pointed out that cellars have been discovered running from under the national monument into the basement of Number 13.

The group said it will be looking at ways of objecting through the planning process as Dublin City Council planners have to agree to the changes 

The plans for the commemorative centre would involve the destruction of the buildings either side of the national monument which are Number 13 and also Number 18, which currently houses the Paris Bakery restaurant.

Minister Deenihan said that the laneways surrounding the site, which were used by the rebels as they tried to escape - Henry Place, Moore Lane and O'Rahilly Parade - are to be kept as part of the wider development.