Members of Sinn Féin are demanding Taoiseach Enda Kenny moves to block the auction of one of the key buildings from the 1916 Easter Rising.
The buildings in question, 14-17 Moore Street, Dublin, were one of the key strongholds held by the rebels. The decision to surrender was made by Pádraig Pearse in number 16.
Next year will see the 100 year anniversary of the Rising. There are various tributes and memorials being planned to mark the occasion, both in Ireland and around the world.
The four buildings on Moore Street were declared national monuments in 2007, but are still at risk. A major development company has proposed plans to build a shopping centre on the historic site.
Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan insisted: “It’s the most important site in Irish history, the National Museum has stated this. It’s part of our heritage and if something happens to the site, it’s lost forever.”
Irish government feeling the pressure
Relatives of the Easter Rising leaders have also put pressure on the Irish government to prevent the buildings being sold off and destroyed as part of the ‘Project Jewel’ development portfolio.
A letter was sent to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, signed by numerous relatives of the Rising leaders. It reads: “We are now making a final and formal request to you and members of your Government to act immediately to ensure that the protection and preservation of the battlefield is ensured. The 1916 ‘freedom quarter’ must be removed from Project Jewel by whatever means necessary in the national interest.”
The government has indicated in the past that it would protect the historic buildings. Earlier in the year Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys said that the government planned to acquire the Moore Street buildings and develop them into a 1916 commemorative centre.
The issue has certainly captured the attention of many Irish people. A Facebook page has been set up to build pressure on the government to step in before the buildings are sold. Activities are taking place around the properties each week, with campaigners raising awareness of the potential development.