Dublin city councillors have reacted angrily to a British property's decision to fight moves to have additional buildings around Moore Street declared protected structures.

Hammersons, who also own Dundrum Town Centre, have taken over the Moore St site which contains a national monument at numbers 14 to 17.

Councillors have voted to have five more buildings declared as protected structures, but Hammerson has refused to allow access for an assessment that is necessary for the designation process.

The company also refused a request from Dublin City Council's CEO Owen Keegan to give an assurance that the five buildings will not be demolished while the protection process is under way.

The five buildings are numbers 10 and 20/21 Moore St, as well as three buildings in laneways to the rear known as the White Cottage, O'Brien Mineral Water Works and the Bottling Stores.

Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe described the company's response as "deeply upsetting" and said it was "deeply ironic" that a UK based property company is trying to filibuster and obstruct attempts to find out more about the buildings that witnessed the seminal events of 1916.

Councillor Christy Burke, Independent, said if there was any attempt to demolish the buildings the people involved need "to be charged with criminal damage and placed in handcuffs.

"A thousand men, women and children will be on the streets within seconds to stop any money grabbing developer who couldn't give a damn about our history and culture," he said.

Lord Mayor Micheál Mac Donncha said that the current Minister for Arts had refused his request to visit the national monument at 14 to 17 Moore St.

Assistant council chief executive Richard Shakespeare said the area is currently protected by a High Court order. This has been appealed and judgment is expected soon.

Councillor were told that legal advice on how to proceed with protection designation will be ready in a week.

Hammerson have previously issued a statement saying: "We recognise the historical significance and unique traditions of the Moore Street area and look forward to maintaining a positive and productive relationship with key stakeholders."

However/ the statement added that it could not comment while the issue is before the court.

It also stated that to give undertakings that "would in any way contravene the obligations that arise under the Planning Permission that applies to the site" would be inconsistent with planning law.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Hammersons - Dublin Central Limited Partnership - has taken over the planning permission for the shopping centre development stretching from Moore Street to O'Connell Street.