Could Croppies Acre, the grave site of 1798 rebels, be turned into a parking area for tourist buses?
The National Graves Association is demanding assurances that the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in Dublin will not turn the grave site of hundreds of 1798 rebels into a car park.
The rebellion of 1798 was one of the bloodiest and ill-starred in our history.
In 1798 Wolfe Tone convinced the French to invade Ireland joining forces with the Irish rebels. The uprising lasted for the summer of 1798 when the rebels surrendered. The French were treated as prisoners of war and the Irish rebels were treated as criminals.
Hundreds were captured then put to the sword, hanged, or beheaded.
Three hundred of the captives were put to death in the Smithfield area of Dublin and their bodies were suspended from the bridges along the River Liffey. They were then buried in the area now known as Croppy's Acre in front of Collins Barracks, now a branch of the National Museum of Ireland.
According to Martisa Ní Cearnaigh, Secretary of the National Graves Association, the National Museum now has plans to convert Croppies Acre into a bus park for tourists. However, Patrick Wallace Director of the National Museum of Ireland refutes these claims stating
How could I as the director of this institution, an institution charged and responsible for our national heritage, and me personally as an archaeologist responsible for the excavation of Viking Dublin, stand over any such crime against Ireland's past.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 July 1997. The reporter is Colm Connolly.