Minister for Heritage to appeal protection of Irish Heritage in Court – Peader Tóibín TD
The Cathaoirleach of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Peadar Tóibín TD, has strongly criticised the Minister for the Department of Heritage for appealing the protection of Moore Street as a Battlefield site and as a National Monument.
"The Minister for Heritage in her appeal is acting against her role to protect the heritage of this country. She is seeking to overturn a significant High Court decision that would protect the 1916 Moore Street Battlefield site from destruction.
"Moore Street could so easily be developed into a vibrant, internationally recognised, historic and cultural quarter, which pays tribute to the men and women of 1916. It could become an energetic centre for the arts, culture, heritage and the Irish language. It could become a haven for tourists and locals alike.
"It could facilitate the development of the iconic street traders and still allow for sympathetic, commercial development in the general area.
"However the Ministers appeal will lead to the dereliction and sterilisation of a city quarter while appeals wind their way through the courts, or worse, still the destruction of the birthplace of the Republic a few yards from the capital’s main street.
"A shocking aspect to this is that the government and the department set up the Minister’s Moore Street Advisory Forum, of which I am a member.
"We have produced a detailed report which highlights the fact that the Moore Street area is an important historical battlefield site and that it should be be persevered as a National Monument. Senior departmental officials have agreed with us that this is the case.
"The Taoiseach and the former Minister have agreed that our report is the way to proceed with the development of the National Monument. Yet the Minister is appealing that very point at the court of appeal.
"It is nothing short of bizarre to me that her department will claim in court this week that its not a battlefield site and that it’s not important or unique, or worth persevering. Yet her department has stated that it is all of these things to us on the forum."