On Easter Monday April 13th 2009 a march took place in Dublin to mark the 93rd anniversary of the Easter Rising. The march which began at Liberty Hall, the route taken by the men and women of the Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and the Cumann na mBann ninety three years ago, to the GPO was non party political and all were welcome. The attendance of around three hundred was encouraging considering the wintry conditions and the parade was headed by two pipers. The major themes of the oration, delivered at the GPO and Moore Street respectively, were the role of women in the struggle for Irish freedom 1916-1923, of which there were considerable and whom are often wrongly overlooked, and the states plans to demolish number 16 Moore Street. This building has been the centre of some controversy for some time because of its value as a historical monument. The argument is that number 16 Moore Street and the whole block of buildings thereafter was the last garrison to surrender on the 29th April 1916 and therefore is a site of national heritage, this argument is absolutely correct. This is the site where the petit figure of nurse Elizabeth O'Farrel, Cumann na mBann,l delivered a message to Brigadier-General William Lowe, Commander British forces Dublin, from Padraic Pearse, Commander In Chief Irish forces, wishing to "treat" on terms of surrender. This was to save Dublin for any furhter loss of life and destruction. It was this building where a seriously wounded James connolly had been moved to on a stretcher and despite many popular myths was the final stand of the rebel forces and not, as has often being sited the GPO.
It is the intention of the twenty six county government to destroy this block of buildings probably to make way for their friends in the property development business. As the speaker, from the National Graves Association, correctly pointed out "in any other European city this building would be protected for posterity"how right he was/is. Could anybody imagine the French pulling down buildings in Paris which had historical connections to 1789? or the Cubans destroying tributes to their revolution of 1959 and painting over the murals of Che Guevara? even the English maintain their sites of historical interest including a statue of Oliver Cromwell who had a kings head removed from his shoulders. However there are no such sentiments in Ireland, it is almost as if the state want to bury the events of Easter week 1916 and one must ask, if this is the case why? Is it because the very mention of 1916 evokes a feeling of national self determination and, regarding the six counties, unfinished business? , maybe.
Number 16 Moore Street and the accompanying block are not the first set of buildings connected to Irelands past and particularly the Easter Rising to be allowed to fall into a state of dereliction. But for the sturdy work of a team of volunters Kilmanham Gaol would have been left to collapse under its own weight due to neglect. Thanks to this work it is now a museum which attracts many tourists, republican and otherwise, who are interested in Irish history. How could any government of the twenty six counties allow a building like Kilmainham to fall into such a state. This is the place where fourteen of the sixteen men executed as a result of the Easter Rising met their executioners. It is the place, the spot marked by a cross, where James Connolly was shot strapped to a chair, being unable to stand due to the severity of his wounds, and yet it is the same site which was allowed to fall into disrepair by various free state governments. The team of volunteers who restored Kilmainham deserve praise and applause for their sturdy work. Now we witness the same attitude by government to number 16 Moore Street, but not without oppossition. There are still people, sane minded people, who care enough to volunteer their services towards the restoration of the building and opposse any government plans for demolition to benefit the interests of property developers or anybody else for that mater. The Irish Republican Socialist Party wish the campaign to save number 16 Moore Street the very best and every success.
Cumann Secretary IRSP Dublin