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Lynn Boylan MEP calls on Government to immediately sign up to the Faro Convention

23 April, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on the Irish government to sign up to the Faro convention.

Speaking today at the Sinn Féin Árd Fhéis Ms. Boylan said:

We need to ask a number of fundamental questions.

What is heritage?

Who decides what is to be protected and what is worth keeping?

Very often communities are excluded from the decision making processes. 

They must instead embrace a collective past based on other people’s choices.  Choices other people have made about what constitutes their heritage.”

Ms Boylan continued:

“Never have we seen such a clear example of this as with the proposed demolition of Moore Street.  Those who had direct familial links to the site were pushed aside for greedy developers.

The Moore Street Traders who were so often exploited for their tourist appeal in many a brochure were not given a say in what they would like to see become of the street  that generations of their families had  traded  on.

The best preserved modern day battlefield site was to be demolished to make way for another shopping centre.  A shopping centre with the same shops that you will find on every high street, in every city around Europe.

The location where many of our brave leaders of 1916 laid down their heads was to be swept away to make room for yet another hotel.

The way that we view heritage has to change, no longer can it be the preserve of those in power. No longer can we allow a situation where communities are told what they should value and what is worthless.

Signing up to the Faro Convention is a step in this direction. The convention aims to strengthen civil society and democracy by emphasising every person's right to engage with the cultural heritage of their choice.  

It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes the right to cultural heritage. It expresses the right of individuals and communities to benefit from cultural heritage and to contribute towards its enrichment.

I ask you to support Motion 50 Calling on the Irish Government to immediately sign up to the Faro Convention and put power back into the hands of communities.”

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