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Irish Government guilty of cultural genocide – Ó Clochartaigh

13 November, 2014

Sinn Fein’s Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has accused the Government of committing cultural genocide. Speaking during a Seanad debate on 1916 commemoration planning, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I welcome the Government’s plans for the commemoration of 1916 but why has it taken them three years to get to this point?

“Their glossy brochure with its fancy layout is devoid of substance and specifics.

“This slap dash approach is not only disrespectful to the valiant men and women of 1916; it betrays a cynical indifference to their ideals, hopes and vison of a free Ireland.  

“Thus while I welcome the restoration of Richmond Barracks and Kilmainham Court House, I am baffled by plans for the Tenement Project in Henrietta Street. 

“Is the government so removed from reality it thinks we need a tenement project to learn about bad housing?

“We have thousands of families and single people on public housing lists the length and breadth of this country.

“We have a chronic homeless issue that official Ireland has turned its back on, and political elite that sees no value in investing in a national public housing programme.    

“In this context, the Henrietta Street project can only be seen as an abject display of official indifference to the meaning of 1916 for contemporary Irish society.

“But the elephant in the room is the government’s refusal to save Moore Street.

“It was as a result of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael corruption that the country's most significant historical site may soon be turned into a parking lot and shopping arcade.

“When in government Fianna Fáil could have acquired Moore Street from NAMA. The current government could if it wanted to, do exactly the same.

“Instead a bankrupt private developer has been allowed to let this priceless historical quarter descend into a state of abject decay.

“What is it that the owner of Chartered Lands has on the political elite that they are prepared to commit cultural genocide to keep him happy? 

“If the government is serious about commemorating 1916 it must save Moore Street.

“The women and men of the Citizens Army, the Volunteers, and the IRB deserve no less.”

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