MOORE STREET HERITAGE

 

Chartered Land, the present owners of the Carlton site have now published an environmental impact study under a Ministerial Consent Application for proposed work to the 1916 National Monument, 14 to 17 Moore Street/Moore Lane.

The listed nature and extent of demolition in this application represents an unprecedented, unacceptable and appalling attack on a monument of national and international interest and importance that cannot be allowed stand unchallenged.

The plan to redraw the boundary of this national monument, invade its protected area and demolish protected structures directly linked to the 1916 Rising for no reason other than to satisfy commercial interest of a private property developer is startling. That the proposal brazenly ignores the protection afforded historic buildings under existing planning regulations and national monument legislation is a matter of the gravest concern. The report refers to constant meetings between the developer and department and city council officials in the preparation of the environmental study.

That State departments, agencies and officials paid out of the public purse are in any way associated with this proposed vandalism of our Nations history and heritage is a scandal.  A new guidance document issued by the Department of the Environment highlights the importance of Venice Charter principles on how to conserve and adapt historic buildings and places.

It is ironic, to say the least, that on the very day of the release of this official document on ‘careful conservation’ a revised public notice on the proposed demolition of the 1916 National Monument appeared in an evening newspaper in the name of Chartered Land Ltd, an insolvent company now under the financial control of NAMA. The nature and extent of the demolitions listed represents not only an unprecedented attack on the preservation and protection of a National Monument but is in direct conflict with Venice Charter principles on the preservation and presentation of historic monuments.

Will Department officials now stand over their own guidelines and honour their undertaking and duty to preserve this monument of national importance? We shall know soon enough since the Ministerial consent process requires the Department to compile its own response to the developer’s proposed demolitions.

Given the publication of this guidance document their report should make interesting reading.

Relatives of the 1916 leaders are now calling on Minister Deenihan, the guardian of the Monument, to reject the consent application now before him and following the example of Dublin City Council instigate, as a matter of urgency, a cross party investigation and review of all matters relevant to the extraordinary history of the Carlton site planning application that seeks the destruction of the most important battlefield site in 20th century Ireland and Britain. The environmental study submitted to the Minister shows that these historic buildings are now in a state of dereliction and on the verge of collapse due to neglect since their closure in 2008. There must be immediate action taken to secure protect and preserve them under the direct supervision of the national museum. They cannot be left under the control of Chartered land.

 

Jim Connolly Heron, grandson of James Connolly, April 2013