Demands for action to save 1916 buildings
Demands for action to save 1916 buildings


Descendants of Easter Rising leaders have expressed anger at the dilapidated condition of the historical Moore Street buildings in Dublin, where the last headquarters of the rebel leaders was based during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Irish republicans have been hoping to ensure the preservation of the site - and its potential development into a memorial or commemoration of the 1916 leaders - in time for the centenary of the Easter Rising in three years’ time.

Following a visit to the site, relatives of the signatories of the historic Proclamation of the Republic called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to take urgent steps to save the buildings that housed the last headquarters of the first (Provisional) Irish government, established in 1916.

James Connolly-Heron, great grandson of Citizen Army leader James Connolly, Helen Litton, great niece of the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s Tom Clarke and Lucille Redmond, grand-daughter of The Irish Volunteer’s Thomas McDonough visited each of the buildings at 14-16 Moore Street on Wednesday. It was the first time the campaigners were given permission to enter the buildings which have been closed to the public since 2008.

As many as three hundred Irish Volunteers and members of Cumann na mBan escaped to the buildings from the GPO after it caught fire following a bombardment by British artillery during Easter Week 1916. Volunteers broke into houses on Moore Street and tunnelled their way through the terrace and took up new positions in each house, making Number 16 their headquarters. After realising they could not escape without causing further civilian deaths, Padraig Pearse subsequently issued the order to surrender on Saturday 29th April.

The buildings, which date back to 1763, were designated national monuments in 2007 but now face an uncertain future after a development company was granted permission for a giant 800,000 sq. ft. retail centre on a nearby site.

A special advisory committee of Dublin City Council recommended recently that Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan withhold the ministerial consent required for development of the site.

James Connolly-Heron expressed his outrage at the “shameful” and “shocking” condition of the buildings.

“I am staggered, I am shocked, I am appalled,” he said.

“These buildings have been abandoned. A cursory glance from the outside would tell you that. But if you walk through them they are in a shocking condition. It’s actually shameful at this stage how they have been allowed to deteriorate.”

Number 16, which he described as “the most important house in the terrace,” is in the “worst condition imaginable”.

He said there are signs of water ingress and rotting timbers. “There are floors you can’t walk on,” he said.

“It was very emotional to stand in the very room where the decision to surrender was taken. I’ve never been in those buildings before. It was a moving experience but I have to say it was an experience filled with great anger because I can’t imagine any other country in the world that would treat its history and heritage in such a cavalier manner.”

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© 2013 Irish Republican News