herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Relatives want more than just museum for Moore St

16 Moore Street
16 Moore Street

RELATIVES of those who fought in the 1916 Rising say they want Dublin's Moore Street to be "a living vibrant street and not just a museum".

Speaking after the Government announced the purchase of the Moore Street National Monument, members of the 1916 Residents Association cautiously welcomed the plans.

Yesterday Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys announced the €4m purchase of numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street, as part of the Government's 1916 centenary plans.

READ MORE: No royals invited to 1916 centenary celebrations

A new commemorative centre and restoration is planned for the site.

Declared a national monument in 2007, the site was the location where Rebel leaders decided to surrender to the British on April 29, 1916 following the Easter Rising .

The site had also been under NAMA control, which had previously pledged to finance a restoration project of its own.

The Minister met with representatives of the association before the announcement yesterday. The 1916 Residents Association has over 1,400 members and represents families who had close relatives fighting in the rising.

Barry Lyons, a member of the association and great-grandson of Edward Lyons who fought in the Rising, said that the results of the meeting "came as a surprise".

"We welcome it and we look forward to seeing an independent assessment of the site as recommended by the DCC planners. It was much improved on the last launch.

"We had meetings with the Government and they seem to have taken our considerations on board," he said.

However, Mr Lyons said that while the Moore Street purchase was a welcome step, the Government needed to move forward with the purchase of the rest of the street.

"I did ask her the question what about the remainder of the street," Mr Lyons said.

"You know it is also an important part of the history. Numbers 10 to 27 also played an important part."

Ms Humphrey's department said the plans for Moore Street will "enhance and complement the 1916 visitor facility currently being developed in the GPO".

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James Connolly Heron, great grandson to 1916 martyr James Connolly said that the Moore Street purchase was "the first step in securing the area", but that relatives wanted to see it as "a living vibrant street and not just a museum".

"We would like to see it sort of like the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, you know a mirror image of how they were at the time that the volunteers entered them," Mr Connolly said.

"They [The Government] have finally listened after us calling on them for over a decade, so it's a step in the right direction."

hnews@herald.ie

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