On the 7 January activists occupied the national monument site on Moore Street where the leaders of the 1916 Rising surrendered. Earlier in the week a hoarding was erected around the site and building work was underway. Despite the historical significance of the site no information was made available regarding the nature or extent of the work and given the shameful history of both local and national government in relation to Moore Street and its environs protestors felt compelled to act.
The national monument site itself, 14 – 17 Moore Street, is a protected structure along with five other buildings in the adjoining area added to the list of protected structures following the passing of a People Before Profit motion on Dublin City Council. This motion was opposed by the unelected and unaccountable city management due to fears it would interfere with the development of a shopping centre on the nearby Carlton Cinema site. Typically the interest of private profit trumps all – even when it comes to such an important part of our national history.
As we enter 2016 political parties from across the political spectrum are trying to lay claim to the legacy of the 1916 Rising. This is a particular problem for the government who like to portray themselves and the Irish state as the inheritors of 1916 while downplaying the nature of the long, radical and militant struggle for independence – of which the Rising was a major part.
For those who truly believe in the radical message of revolutionary heroes like James Connolly it is vital that we remember that the Irish State did not develop out of the ideals of Easter Week 1916 but rather developed from the conservative counter revolution who emerged as the victors in 1922 following the civil war.
As Socialist Worker goes to press the Moore Street occupation is ongoing and answers as to what the government has planned are in short supply. Socialist Worker will continue to stand in solidarity with those who want to protect our heritage and history from the greed of the developers and speculators as well as the indifference of the government.