Developer-led project for Moore St site would be viewed by future generations as state-sponsored vandalism - Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht Aengus Ó Snodaigh has urged a rethink on proposals to redevelop the historic Moore Street site.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh's comments come in advance of the Moore Street Advisory Group (MSAG) finalising its report to Minister of State Malcolm Noonan.
Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:
“A developer-led project for this historic site will be viewed by future generations as an unforgivable and wanton act of state-sponsored vandalism.
“Some of us in the Moore Street Advisory Group came to the table with thought-out deliverable alternatives to the Hammerson developer-led proposition.
“There is a real and tangible alternative plan on the table thanks to the work of Seán Antóin Ó Muirí and his team, and there is a legal framework for the Cultural Quarter supported by all members of the Dáil, including government parties.
“Regretfully the advisory group, as it comes near the end of its remit, has not considered the option of increased state involvement in the regeneration of the area in a way that reflects its historical associations with the 1916 Rising and that recognises its street-trading culture.
“By retaining their properties in the Moore Street Battlefield Site, state bodies could negotiate the purchase or part-exchange of the additional properties required to deliver the alternative vision from Hammerson.
“The Moore Street Battlefield Site was designated a national monument, and only last month Dublin City Council voted unanimously to designate the area an Architectural Conservation Area, thus further imposing strict planning controls on the demolition of buildings in the area.
“This puts the ball firmly in the court of the Minister and Dublin City Council not to issue letter of consent to Hammerson for it destructive plan, but instead to develop the site as a civic space that reflects its historic and cultural significance. Such considerations were previously included in the current Minister, Daragh O'Brien's, Moore Street Area Renewal and Development Bill 2015.
“They were further reflected and expanded on in my legislation, Ceathrú Chultúir 1916 Bill 2021, which passed first and second stage with unanimous support in the Dáil in March this year. Again the MSAG did not find the time to discuss the cross-party support reflected in the 2-hour Dáil debate.
“The key provisions of Bille um Cheathrú Chultúir 1916 include the establishment of a management board for An Cheathrú Chultúir, a commitment to promote cultural, Irish language, artistic and historical events and activities.
“It would also ensure the site would be a living area, with thriving retail units and a vibrant market with residential units.
“It would preserve and restore the built heritage of the area - the lands, buildings, streets and lanes within the area, including Moore Street, Henry Place, O’Rahilly Parade and Moore Lane.
“The area from the GPO to O’Rahilly Parade would become a living museum, which would boost tourism and increase footfall of the local community into the area.
“Finally, the plan would create and sustain local employment through the permanent market, the new retail and café units, the cultural activities and also the huge tourism potential which others have commented on.
“It is vital that the very group established to advise a Minister on Moore Street would fully reflect the potential of the alternatives to the developer-led project in their report to the minister. ”
The Ceathrú Chultúir 1916 Bill 2021 can be viewed here.