Sale of Battlefield Moore St not in the best interests of the Irish people – McLellan
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Culture and Heritage Sandra McLellan has appealed to the government to recognise the enormous importance of the battlefield site of Moore St to Irish history, and to not let it be snapped up in a sale of Nama assets by developers who would not hold the site in the same regard as the Irish people.
Deputy McLellan said:
“I have raised this issue today because of huge concerns regarding the proposed auction of the ‘Project Jewel’ loan portfolio now under the control of NAMA.
“It is my understanding that this portfolio includes the 1916 National Monument at 14 to 17 Moore Street situated in heart of the last extant 1916 Battlefield. This site has been described as ‘the most important historic site in Irish history’ by the National Museum
“Any continuing uncertainty regarding the future of the historic area is totally unacceptable to the relatives of the founding fathers of our nation as we approach the centenary of The Rising.
“To sell it off to private investors, who will doubtless have little regard as to its significance beyond its commercial potential, is unacceptable and an affront to Ireland’s people and history.
“We must protect this battlefield site. The 1916 ‘freedom quarter’ must be removed from the NAMA property portfolio. It cannot be allowed to become a shopping centre as had been planned by Chartered Land. It must be respected for its historic and cultural significance which far outweigh commercial gain.
“It is a key part of our history and heritage, yet Nama has repeatedly refused to meet with the Cross Party Oireachtas Moore Street Committee members to discuss this.
“Has consideration been given as to the implications the sale and any future works will have on the national Monument? Has the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht or the National Museum been consulted on the proposed sale?
“€5 million was set aside by NAMA for the restoration of the monument. Is this still available?
“Yesterday the Oireachtas Cross Party group, relatives, and other stakeholders made a formal request to an Taoiseach for the protection of the 1916 National Monument by delivering a letter to his office personally.
“As we move into the centenary of one of the defining moments of Irish history, we are asking an Taoiseach and the government to act swiftly and decisively in order to make sure that our heritage is honoured appropriately.”
“How is the proposed disposal of this historic area to a private interest group be reconciled with the requirementof NAMA under the NAMA Act to 'achieve the best possible return for Irish taxpayers'”