Full text of the speech from Sandra McLellan TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Culture, Sports & Tourism, at the Ard Fheis tonight
Sports, arts and culture is a rich tapestry made up of artists, professionals, community volunteers and activists.
I want to pay particular thanks to all those who so generously give up their time to make Ireland a more enriching, better place to live.
If you give one hour a week in your local GAA club training local children, if you organise trad sessions with Comhltas Ceoltori Eireann or an Abbey actor in the Risen People then you have played your part in improving the quality of life for Irish citizens.
One particular group I want to mention are the Concerned Relatives of the Signatories to the 1916 Proclamation.
This group continues to campaign selflessly to ensure that the need for a historic quarter in and around Moore St and the GPO remains centre stage.
You can be assured that the development of a historical, revolutionary quarter remains a political priority for my office.
We have established a Cross Party Committee on the development of Moore Street.
We work in a spirit of co-operation. We are currently seeking an immediate meeting with Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs to discuss how we can preserve the buildings which continue to fall into serious disrepair.
I took the opportunity this week to raise the issue directly with An Taoiseach to use whatever influence he can to ensure this meeting happens as soon as possible.
The issues that we need to address with the minister include:
- The agreed inspection of the monument.
- Dublin City Council and the revised application.
- The status of no.18 Moore Street.
- The National Museum reports and the Charted Land consent application.
- The National Monument Deed of Trusteeship.
We have also sought a meeting with NAMA.
Chartered Land, the company which made the initial application that would have impacted directly on Moore Street including the demolition of its surrounding area is now under the financial control of NAMA.
There have been reports that NAMA has set aside money for works in the Moore Street area.
It is important that there is clarity regarding the purpose of this public funding and how it is to be spent in the development of this area. An area that can be considered the very birth place of our struggle for national liberation.
It is our understanding that the present planning application is now no longer valid, and that a new planning application will be required for any further development in Moore St.
Restoration of the National Monument that has been allowed deteriorate and become derelict under the ownership of Chartered Land is a matter of great concern. It is in that light Sinn Féin feel that this proposed meeting is of the utmost importance.
Sinn Féin will not be found wanting in this campaign.
We will continue to work with Relatives of the Signatories, other political parties and statutory agencies in a final attempt to have this part of our capital city transformed into a historic quarter which we can be truly proud of.
I urge you to support motions 170 and171.
Go raibh maith agaibh.