Tuesday, 2 February 2016
National Monuments: Motion [Private Members]
I move amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
— the importance of this significant centenary year of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic as a pivotal event in our history; and
— that the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is continuing to work with a broad range of stakeholders, including Dublin City Council and 1916 relatives’ groups, in the context of the delivery of the comprehensive countrywide Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme of commemorative events, activities and projects;
commends the Government and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the purchase, preservation and conservation of the National Monument at Numbers 14-17 Moore Street - the only substantially pre-1916 structures surviving in the terrace in that street, with Number 16 being the location of the last Council of War of the 1916 Rising - as one of the iconic capital projects to commemorate the centenary of the Rising;
acknowledges the commitment of all of those who have worked to preserve the National Monument at Numbers 14-17 Moore Street, but deplores the recent occupation of the National Monument on Moore Street and the consequent disruption of, and delay to, the conservation and preservation works;
notes that the ongoing works to the National Monument are consonant with the requirements of planning law and the consents issued under the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004;
reiterates that planning matters insofar as they relate to Moore Street and its environs are matters for Dublin City Council; and
calls on the Government to continue to support the work of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in regard to securing both the restoration and conservation of the National Monument at Numbers 14-17 Moore Street and its opening to the public as a permanent Commemorative Centre dedicated to the 1916 Rising and its leaders, while complementing the new Government-funded General Post Office, GPO, Witness History Interpretive Exhibition Centre and enhancing the amenity of the wider Moore Street-GPO area."
I wish Deputy Colreavy well in his retirement. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle has just stepped out of the Chamber. I also wish him well in his retirement and thank him for his courtesy and fairness over the past five years.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to clarify my role and the Government's plans to put in place a permanent and fitting tribute to the 1916 leaders in Moore Street. Before I do that, however, I acknowledge the campaign by relatives that led to Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street - the only remaining substantially original pre-1916 buildings - being saved. The Save No. 16 Moore Street committee campaigned for many years to have the location where the 1916 leaders had their final council of war properly recognised. Their commitment led to the making of the preservation order under the National Monuments Acts in 2007. The preservation order applied not just to No. 16 but also to Nos. 14,15 and 17. Unlike other adjacent properties, these buildings retain significant and extensive internal 18th century elements, including staircases, partitions, plasterwork, doors, floors, fittings and fixtures. The 18th century building form and profiles also survive. Most important, however, we also have physical evidence of the leaders' presence in the form of the openings broken through party walls. These tunnels will be kept and preserved in order that the public can see at first hand what the rebels encountered and where they made their final decisions to end the uprising.
Sinn Féin claims its members are here tonight because they want to honour the 1916 leaders. Unfortunately, where Moore Street is concerned, all we are getting from Sinn Féin is disingenuous grandstanding, deliberate misinformation and blatant electioneering.