The last headquarters of the leaders of the 1916 Rising is to be designated a national monument following a sustained campaign for its preservation.
Number 16 Moore Street in Dublin, described as “Ireland’s Alamo”, was where Padraig Pearse declared the Irish volunteers’ surrender at the end of the 1916 Rising.
The designation, the highest protection that can be given to a site of historical interest, will be signed into effect by the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, in the coming weeks.
The building has been the subject of an intensive international campaign after proposals for its demolition emerged three years ago.
The announcement was warmly welcomed by Matt Doyle of the National Graves Association, which had led the campaign.
The original plan, which had the approval of Dublin City Council, would have seen the house demolished to make way for a major shopping precinct and “urban renewal project” in the Moore Street/Upper O’Connell Street area.
Following protests this plan was rescinded by Dublin City Council, which last year placed a protection order on Number 16 and its neighbouring buildings.
Number 16, built in 1763, is at the centre of a terrace of houses on Moore Street where the GPO rebels fled to on April 28th.
The following day Pearse and other 1916 leaders, including the wounded James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Joseph Plunkett and Sean McDermott, gathered at number 16 where the declaration of surrender was made and signed by Pearse.
Nurse Elizabeth Farrell, who handed the surrender document to the British, previously described the scene at Number 16.
“The members of the Provisional Government were in this room for a considerable length of time,” she wrote, “where they held a council of war. Willie Pearse was also with them. On the floor of the room lay three wounded volunteers and a soldier, a prisoner, who was badly injured, lay on a bed on the side of the room.”
The Moore Street building’s proposed designation was announced by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, who also announced that consideration was being given to the redevelopment of part of the GPO site to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising in 10 years’ time.
The General Post Office was the main headquarters of the rising and the site of intensive fighting.
“As we move towards the centenary of the Rising, I think that there must be a very special consideration of the future use of the GPO in O’Connell Street, involving not only the post office itself but the extensive buildings behind it,” he said.