So Limerick has the Milk Market and Cork has the English Market – how come Dublin’s Moore Street Market has been so sadly neglected? The main reason is because successive governments didn’t want us to remember our history.
But we know what happened at Easter 1916. We know that a relatively small group of people decided to challenge the status quo, to confront the establishment and to proclaim a republic that would treat all the people equally. And Moore Street was where they took their last stand.
And we know that the idealism of the rebels was not matched by those who eventually took control of our destiny. Isn’t there always those business people who can only think in shillings and pence? Those who cannot appreciate the spiritual or cultural aspects of life? Why, oh why do we let them run the show?
And we allowed them to snuggle up to the speculators and to sell off our heritage to the highest bidder. “Mór mo náir’, mo chlann féin do dhíol a máthair…”
Have you been down in Moore Street lately?
Have you heard about the speculator’s plans? If it wasn’t for the various Save Moore Street groups, the whole area would’ve been demolished long ago and a massive shopping mall built in its place.
But a High Court decision put a stop to that. Last year, Mr Justice Max Barrett ruled that the entire Moore Street Battlefield site, including all its backlanes, constituted a National Monument and therefore was the responsibility of the Minister for the Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
But what did she do? She lodged an appeal against the judgement and this won’t be heard until next December. In the meantime, the neglected old buildings are steadily deteriorating…
Oh and she set up a Ministerial Consultative Forum to make “recommendations”. (I spoke at this myself – here) They launched the report this week but the minister’s appeal is still going ahead.
Why? Well, I reckon that by demolishing the Moore Street Battlefield site, they thought that they could bury our history. Build more retail units. Keep people shopping. I reckon that they don’t want people to imagine a different future where idealism, equality and local communities can flourish. “They think they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have pacified Ireland…”
No Minister, you must drop that appeal. Your role must be to protect our heritage and to preserve it for future generations.
You see this painting above? It is an empty fireplace from one of the oldest houses in Dublin. (No. 9, Aungier Street) There has been an awful lot of money spent on the renovation of this rickety old house. Not because of any particular historical event but simply because it predates the Georgian houses by fifty years. It’s quite safe to do this – it won’t arouse the people’s emotions. But to remind people of the struggles of their forefathers? – That could be risky. That could open a whole can of protesting worms… Better to destroy the evidence before they realise it.
But it didn’t work!
However, we still need to be vigilant. I don’t think that they can be trusted to do the right thing now. Do you? Your comments are always welcome. But you could also write to the minister here and ask her to drop the appeal.
(By the way, the painting above is part of the exhibition “Silent Stories” at Belltable in Limerick at the moment. This is a 2 person show with Miriam McConnon, curated by Olivier Cornet and it continues there until the 7th of April )