herald

Monday 21 August 2017

1916 Moore Street monument decision deferred

A decision on the 1916 National Monument at 14-16 Moore Street has been postponed by Dublin City Council (DCC).

Independent councillor Nial Ring, who chairs the Moore Street Advisory Committee, said more time was needed to discuss a proposed land swap whereby DCC would own the site at 14-16 Moore Street.

He said the committee will meet to discuss this important issue and it will be able to guide the rest of the council before the next meeting.

People Before Profit councillor John Lyons said he did not want to be "railroaded" into a decision on the matter.

"I don't want anyone to feel they're under pressure," Mr Lyons said at last night's council meeting.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor Kieran Binchy said that while he and his party agreed with the deferral, they did so with a "heavy heart".

"It is vital that everyone is briefed clearly," he said.

Mr Ring committed to bringing recommendations to next month's meeting so that a decision on the 1916 National Monument could be made then.

Separately, an All Party Consultation Group on Commemorations surrounding the 1916 Rising has still to make a decision on key aspects - including a one-off public holiday called Republic Day.

Several members of the group have complained about the slow progress despite almost 20 meetings over the past three years.

One member, Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan, said there seemed to be so much secrecy surrounding commemoration plans that they were "being treated like the third secret of Fatima".

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which is heading the preparations, has refused to discuss details of much of what is planned.

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The composition of the military parade, which will be the focal point of the celebrations, has still not been agreed.

The committee, which is composed of TDs, senators and historians, has also yet to get clarity from officials on whether members of the British royal family will be asked to attend, a proposition floated by Taoi-seach Enda Kenny.

Some members expressed concerns about the security implications and said it would take the focus away from the descendants of those who took part in the Rising.

The department said no invitations have been issued, but added that it would be asking descendants to make contact if they wish to be involved.

Several committee members were also unhappy that events which have already taken place as part of the decade of commemorations were poorly publicised.

jfegan@herald.ie

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