Broad support as Moore Street bill moves to Committee stage

 

Legislation to regenerate the Moore Street area of Dublin City and create a cultural historical quarter has moved a step closer to being passed by the Oireachtas. 

The Bill, brought forward by Sinn Féin's Aengus Ó Snodaigh, has passed second stage in the Dáil and will now move to Committee stage. 

Moore Street, specifically number 16, is where the 1916 leaders met for the final time to surrender. Sinn Féin is calling for a "cultural historical quarter" to be established, which will be maintained by a management and oversight body.

"Moore Street isn't just about the rising. It is, was and will be a street market. A living street with residents, shops, cafés and stalls," Mr Ó Snodaigh told the Dáil. 

Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan said he shared "the same sense of the seminal importance of the 1916 rising and its central place in the history of our state".

He told the Dáil that Government will not be opposing the Bill and is happy to see it progress to Committee stage. However, Mr Noonan said that he was expecting an imminent report from the Moore Street Advisory Group. He said that after reading the report he will decide if the Sinn Féin bill should progress further. 

He explained that in 2007, buildings 14-17 were declared a national monument. Mr Noonan said the state now owns these buildings. However, the surrounding area has been acquired by a property development company. He told TDs that the company is engaging meaningfully with the Moore Street Advisory Group. 

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon told the Dáil that his party would enthusiastically support the bill. "I am the son of a Dublin street trader, albeit a Henry Street one and not a Moore Street one and there is a difference," he quipped.

Gary Gannon said that Moore Street represented something "extraordinary" about Dublin City. He said the area was a fusion of old and new Ireland. However, Deputy Gannon said that Moore Street is "absolutely under-loved from the perspective of the state and the from the City Council".

The Dublin Central TD said that any development on the site should be rooted in culture and history.

People Before Profit's Bríd Smith said the new communities of Moore Street should be factored into any plans for the area. "Moore Street would have really collapsed long ago through neglect were it not for all the Chinese and African and Indian shops and restaurants and spaces that were built up around there", she told TDs. 

Ms Smith warned that Moore Street should not become another Temple Bar with "stag parties and drink till all hours of the night and really taking away from the dignity of the area". 

She also paid tribute to the campaigns to reclaim Moore Street, adding that "we would not be here" if it not for their activism. 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald added that the Bill was about building an exciting future for the area. "It's a place at the very heart of our country's long struggle for independence, our struggle for a Republic, it is hallowed ground", she said.