Whose side are you on – the people’s – or the moguls’

1916 re enactment from 1916 - the Last Stand film

Well, unusually for me – I was at a film première last week – the première of the Marcus Howard film: 1916 – The Last Stand. It was screened at Liberty Hall, once the headquarters of the Irish Citizen Army and a focal point for radical politics in the years leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916.

For the last few years, Howard has been filming the stories of relatives of the men and women who took part in the Easter Rising but he found that, again and again, the story of Moore Street kept getting mentioned.

It was upstairs in a house in Moore Street that the leaders of the Rising held their last stand and where they decided to surrender  “in order to prevent the further slaughter of the civilian population…” (see Pearse’s note below) This house still exists as does several of the original buildings where the 300 volunteers spent their last days of freedom but – would you believe that this historic street and its associated backlanes could soon be obliterated to make way for one vast SHOPPING MALL?

Pearse's surrender note from the film, 1916 The Last Stand

Yes, there was a court case taken to stop the “development” and the High Court judge found in favour of saving Moore Street. He recommended that the entire area of the last battle be preserved as a National Monument. That was great news – except the Government Minister assigned to protect our heritage is appealing this judgement.

It would seem that she would prefer to keep the property moguls happy rather than preserve the scene for future generations.


Proposed-Moore-Street-Shopping mall
Just four houses would remain, dwarfed by the new Shopping Mall

After the film, there was a question and answer session and Marcus talked about how the films came about. “The reason I do it”, he said, “is because I want to create an online library so that future generations won’t be left saying: I wish I’d asked more questions…

But with Moore Street, you can walk the lanes where the rebels fell, you can visualise what it must’ve been like. So the campaign to save Moore Street has taken on a special significance because it clearly exposes whose side you’re on. Are you enthralled by big business or do you believe that there are more important lessons to pass on to our children – ideas about equality, the common good, standing up for what is right…

"They're Destroyers - not Developers", Moore Street campaigner Diarmuid
“They’re Destroyers – not Developers”  – Moore Street campaigner Diarmuid Breathnach

1916 – The Last Stand documents the campaign from the beginning and tells the inspiring story of the personalities who kept going against all the odds to ensure that Moore Street will remain forever at the heart of Dublin and, more importantly, to keep alive the memory of all those who sacrificed so much to establish a republic that would “cherish all the children of the nation equally”.

All the images above are from the film.  There will be more screenings soon at various locations around the country but If you would like to order the film, you can contact Marcus at easterrisingstories@gmail.com or check out the links below.

PS: Oh, and by the way, I have a cameo role in this movie!

Photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Marcus Howard, director of 1916 - the Last Stand
Marcus Howard, director of “1916 – the Last Stand”   (photo: Eoin Mac Lochlainn)







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