Irish Republican News · August 16, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Ireland’s Alamo falling into ruin

The last refuge of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising should be converted into an interpretative centre before it becomes a ruin, heritage campaigners have said.

The building, 16 Moore Street, is known as ‘Ireland’s Alamo’.

On April 23, 1916, some 150 insurgents took over the GPO in Dublin and the men and women fought without pause or sleep for five days and nights.

Ravaged by sniper fire, machine guns, nine-pound guns from Trinity College and 18-pound shells from the gunboat the Helga, the insurgents were forced to abandon the GPO and set up headquarters in 16 Moore Street.

Thomas Clarke, James Connolly, Patrick Pearse and Joseph Plunkett were among those who sheltered in the building and were later executed by the British for their role in the rebellion.

Currently, 16 Moore Street is not even listed as a protected structure.

A plaque erected high up on its front wall, which is barely readable from the footpath, states: “Here on 29th April 1916, members of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic decided to surrender.”

For nearly five years, campaigners have been lobbying the Irish government to have the property restored, preserved and opened to the public as a permanent memorial.

Heritage watchdog group An Taisce has called for urgent action on the issue.

Spokesman Dominic Dunne said: “Half the slates on the building’s roof are missing, and the elements are getting in.

“We believe that the site should be converted into an interpretative centre to honour its historical and cultural significance.

“Next year is the 90th anniversary of the 1916 Rising and it would be a shame if we don’t have this resolved by then.”

The National Graves Association has also called for the building to be developed into a tourist attraction.

Matt Boyle, the association’s secretary, said there was hypocrisy among Irish politicians when it comes to progress and heritage.

“Can you imagine what it will be like in 2016 on the centenary? Everybody from Michael McDowell and Bertie Ahern will be marching down O’Connell Street wearing rows of medals and claiming to be more republican than the next.

“And yet, right now, when they can do something to show respect to the republicans of 1916, they sit on their hands,” Mr Boyle said.

“The roof is falling in, the water is leaking in. Does the building have to collapse onto the street before anybody will do anything about it?

“We have contacted every minister in every department in the Dail to try to get something done before it’s too late.”

Moore Street is in the Dublin North constituency of 26-County Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and is said to be part of the publicly-funded O’Connell Street regeneration programme.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News