From the Irish Examiner.
“Campaigners have renewed calls for state intervention to stop the “disrespectful” demolition of the area surrounding the historic 1916 Rising battlefield site.
As Sinn Féin gears up to appeal for support from Government TDs to save and restore the monument in the Dáil today, James Connolly’s great-grandson said it was a modest demand.
James Connolly Heron, who has been fighting for the restoration of the Moore Street site for the last 10 years, said Nama-funded plans to tear down surrounding buildings to make way for a shopping centre need to be blocked.
“People are waking up to the fact that we have four years until the centenary,” said Mr Connolly Heron.
“We need something to show the Gathering in 2016. Are we going to show people a monument to the rising, or are we going to show them a shopping centre that is a monument to the Celtic Tiger?”
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has got behind the Moore Street campaign, which aims to restore the row of houses from 14 to 17 – where the rebel leaders met for the last time – and turn the area into “a cultural educational centre of excellence”.
Deputy Adams has secured backing from some Fianna Fáil and Independent TDs, while Labour has previously gone on the record in support of the initiative.
But Mr Connolly Heron warned the mission must not be eclipsed by political point-scoring.
“That would be dishonouring the people we are trying to honour,” he went on. “It doesn’t belong to any party, it belongs to the people.”
Sinn Féin will propose a Dáil motion during private members’ time tonight and tomorrow night.
The motion, which was drafted by descendants of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, including Mr Connolly Heron, already has the support of over 50 opposition TDs.
It asks for the Government to support the proposition to ensure the site is protected and preserved, and that the surrounding buildings, streets and laneways are retained with a view to developing the area as a historic and cultural quarter.
Sinn Féin will need the support from more than 30 additional TDs to gain a majority in the Dáil to pass the motion.”
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