'We are not extremists' - activists respond to minister's accusation
Protesters occupying the historical 1916 site on Dublin's Moore Street have said they are "not extremists" following claims by Arts Minister Heather Humphreys
Protesters have occupied 14-17 Moore Street since Thursday evening over concerns that the entire terrace is not being adequately protected from demolition and redevelopment.
The Arts Minister described some of the activists as members of "extremist" groups, and raised concerns about their "questionable motivations".
However, demonstrators have hit back at the claims by accusing the Government of "acting in an extreme way".
A spokesman Damien Farrell - an Eirigi member and prominent anti-water charge activist - rejected the description of the protesters as extremists.
"Our motivations are very clear. We are not extremists. We are here to protect an integral part of our history, which is at risk of being damaged or worse," Mr Farrell said.
"It could, in fact, be said that it is the Government and Heather Humphreys who are acting in an extreme manner over the way they are attempting to carry out these works," he added.
The Government last week said that the occupation of 14-17 Moore Street will cost €30,000 for each day restoration work is delayed.
Some of the buildings - including the location of the last council of war held by the 1916 rebellion leaders - are being converted into a new commemorative centre.
Separately, the High Court heard yesterday that no buildings on Moore Street will be demolished pending an urgent hearing in relation to the matter.
The dispute was sparked by concerns to preserve as national monuments buildings linked to the 1916 Rising.
The State has agreed none of the buildings at issue will be demolished on condition the necessary steps are taken for a hearing of the case early next month.
Colm Moore, a nominee of the 1916 Relatives Association has, in his proceedings, raised issues including whether some buildings earmarked for demolition, including No 18, are national monuments.
Mr Moore, of Sandyford Road in Dundrum, brought judicial review proceedings against the Arts Minister in which he contends several of the buildings are national monuments which must be preserved.
The minister has said the properties outside of the terrace at numbers 14 to 17 are of no historical significance.
Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said the case had "a certain urgency" and fixed it for hearing on February 2.