Having long supported the relatives of the leaders of 1916 and having worked as a City Councillor with others to produce the Moore Street Report I was delighted yesterday to join the Relatives Group and Moore Street Traders for the second reading of the Moore Street Renewal and Development Bill in Seanad Eireann.
Unfortunately what should have been a proud, historic and happy moment of real recognition for the relatives and traders resulted in them being insulted, disrespected and patronised by ill informed and disinterested Labour and Fine Gael Senators.
The objective of the Bill is to redevelop the National Monument at Moore Street and designate the surrounding area as a Historical Quarter. Although buildings 14-17 Moore Street were designated a National Monument in 2007 the street and environs have been badly neglected and are in a dilapidated state.
The Moore Street Area Renewal and Development Bill 2015 would establish an urban development company tasked with restoring and preserving the historic quarter and delivering urban regeneration at the very heart of Dublin city similar to the Grangegorman Development Agency and Temple Bar.
Moore Street is the birthplace of our Republic and is arguably the most important site in modern history. The Bill enjoys the support of the relatives of the leaders of 1916 and present day Moore Street Traders. However yesterday when the bill was debated in the Senate no more than THREE government Senators bothered to attend and or engage in the debate. Those few Government representatives who did make a contribution were ill informed, patronising and insulting not only to the relatives and traders in attendance but also to the memory of the 1916 leaders and our History.
The events that took place on and around Moore Street in 1916 belong to all the people of Ireland and next year the centenary should be commemorated by all the people of Ireland. Those Labour and Fine Gael Senators who only attended the debate yesterday to vote against a Bill that would create a framework to restore, develop and preserve our most historic site should hang their heads in shame. Unfortunately their ignorance and shallow political ambitions will instead have them shamelessly scramble for VIP seats at next year’s centenary celebrations. The heros of 1916, without whose actions we might not today have a republic or a Senate, must surely be turning in their graves. Labour and Fine Gael Senators should personally apologise to the relatives of the leaders of 1916 and the Moore Street Traders or excuse themselves from the 1916 centenary celebrations.