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GPO should be focal point of a new cultural and historical centre for Dublin – McLellan

19 June, 2011

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, Sandra McLellan, has called on the Government to create a new cultural and historical centre in commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising with the GPO at its heart.

Speaking in the wake of Minister Jimmy Deenihan’s announcement yesterday (Sat. 18th) that the Abbey Theatre would not be relocated to the GPO, “on the basis of the very significant potential costs involved, as well as on grounds of technical complexity, historical appropriateness, planning, conservation and heritage issues”, Deputy McLellan said:

“Despite the fact that the Feasibility Study Group reported that locating the Abbey Theatre in the GPO was achievable from a technical construction point of view, it appears that the move is now off the table.”

“In light of this decision the Government must now prepare, in line with commitments in the Programme for Government, and as a matter of priority, plans to rejuvenate the GPO and surrounding areas in advance of the 100th anniversary of 1916 in five years time.

“The OPW has provided an alternative proposal for the future of the site which is consistent with this. The opportunity to create a cultural and historical ‘Northern Quarter’ for Dublin, including Moore Street, Moore Lane and O’Rahilly Parade, and with the GPO at its heart, must not be missed. The whole area is rich in history and would act as a major National Monument and a fantastic attraction for visitors from home and abroad.

“People who have visited cities like Prague, Budapest and Berlin, for example, will be familiar with how such attractions can add to the overall cultural experience and bring a nation’s history to life.” ENDS

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