High Court orders restoration and building work on Dublin's Moore Street halted

Acting heritage minister says she and her officials will carefully study the judgement

Newstalk, High Court, Moore St, proclamation, historic, 1916, law, justice

Protesters occupied buildings on Moore Street back in January | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The acting Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys says she and her officials will carefully study a High Court judgement regarding Moore Street.

Ms Humphreys said: "My priority up to this point has been to progress the important works to preserve the National Monument at numbers 14-17, which was the final headquarters of the 1916 leaders".

"My officials and I will consider this judgement in detail before making any decisions on further actions".

Ms Humphreys adds that she regrets the public will not now be in a position to access 14 to 17 Moore Street during the centenary period, as had been planned.

The High Court has ruled that restoration and building work on Moore Street must stop, pending a review of the buildings as a national monument.

Numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street have been designated a national monument, but relatives of those who fought in the 1916 Rising want additional buildings preserved.

Judge Max Barrett said he was restraining the now-acting Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys from carrying out works on numbers 13 to 19.

He also said the High Court was satisfied that surrounding areas were of national importance.

"Other national monuments"

In his 399 page judgement, Mr Justice Barrett said the court has concluded "that there are other national monuments" in the area beyond those contained in a preservation order of 2007.

It also found that a newly-discovered cellar to the rear of number 14 Moore Street is a national monument, protected and preserved under the National Monuments Act, 1930.

And that the extent of the national monument located at numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street includes any and all basements and/or cellars, including the basements and/or cellars located on Moore Street and Moore Lane. 

The matter will return to the High Court in April, after the acting minister has a chance to review the judgement.

The Citizens' Injunction that has prevented the destruction of the site is now in its sixth week.

The buildings of 14 to 17 were said to be the last meeting place and headquarters of the provisional government, which was set up during 1916.

The buildings are widely reported to be the site of the final surrender of the 1916 rebels.

Relatives of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation were in court, and have welcomed the decision.

James Connolly-Heron, a grandson of James Connolly, said it was a red-letter day for the decade-long campaign.

While Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said: "The ruling in the High Court today is a brilliant result and I want to congratulate the 1916 Relatives and their legal team"."

It is a great shame that the relatives of our 1916 heroes had to take the state to the High Court to protect our heritage".

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh added: "Today a victory has been achieved by the 1916 Relatives Group on behalf of the people of Ireland".

"They have secured the halting of the destruction of the battlefield site that was and is Moore Street".