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Hurry up with 1916 Moore St museum plan, urge relatives 1916 RISING: Historic site

The Government must act quickly to approve a 1916 museum in Moore Street in Dublin in time for the centenary celebrations, supporters have urged.

Direct descendants of James Connolly and fellow 1916 leader Michael O'Rahilly made their plea earlier this week in one of the buildings in Moore Street where leaders of the Rising held their last meeting before surrendering to British forces.

A terrace of four houses in Moore Street was declared a national monument in 2007 but campaigners now want the buildings restored and converted into an Easter 1916 Rebellion museum.

John Connolly, whose grandfather was executed in 1916, said: "We want the centenary of 1916 to be marked with a lasting legacy, not just another passing parade.

"The proposed museum will be the centrepiece of an enduring legacy for our citizens and for visitors alike.

"The scheme is now ready to go and what is now required is the consent of the minister for the arts and culture and a commitment from the National Asset Management Agency.

"We need to grasp this opportunity now to ensure all that the necessary works can be completed on time for Easter 2016.







Controversy

"I am asking the Taoiseach and the key ministers in Government to make a clear, unequivocal and urgent statement of support for the proposed scheme," he said.

Nuala O'Rahilly Price, grand-daughter of the only 1916 leader to be fatally wounded in action, said: "We judge the proposed scheme, where the four key buildings will be preserved and used as a visitor centre and museum, to be a fitting memorial...Time is now running out."

During the Celtic Tiger, building boom, there were plans for a massive redevelopment of the area, including a shopping centre stretching back to O'Connell Street.

Although the original development caused controversy, Chartered Land developers have created a plan for the redevelopment that seems to appeal to all sides of the debate.

Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan says he is awaiting the completion of an environmental impact assessment before deciding if a preservation order should be placed on the historic buildings.

A statement from Mr Deenihan said that once an environmental impact statement, expected shortly, is received by him and, having completed consultations, he will undertake a formal environmental impact assessment before making a decision on the consent application.

hnews@herald.ie