From top: Chartered Lands’ plans for the Carlton site on O’Connell Street and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys
You may recall how, in the High Court last Friday, Judge Max Barrett ruled that extra buildings and lane ways in the Moore Street – separate to numbers 14-17 – should be given State protection.
In the court, Arts and Heritage Minister Heather Humphreys’ department argued that the extra buildings were not of historical importance.
The ruling will impact Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land’s plans, above, to build a commercial development on the Carlton site on O’Connell Street.
Further to this, RTÉ’s Áine Lawlor asked Ms Humphreys about the ruling on News At One this afternoon.
Aine Lawlor: “I want to talk to you minster about the recent High Court judgement, particularly long, High Court judgement which pretty definitively ruled for those people who were looking for number 16 Moore Street and the areas around it to be kept from development and the fact that they won their case. Lot of those people now saying it’s now time for you and Peter Cooney from the Save 16 Moore Street committee, saying you should resign and your senior officials, because this was the wrong thing to do and cost the State many millions.”
Heather Humphreys: “Yeah well, first of all, the judgement was delivered last Friday, it runs to almost 400 pages and I and my officials, we’re still studying the judgement and the implications and you’ll be aware that the situation regarding Moore Street long predates my time and, as minister, number 14 and 17 were first declared a national monument back in 2007 and I’m the first person to have actually done anything about preserving those buildings for 14 – 17 Moore Street and we know that they are, they predate 1916, and they were the final headquarters for the 1916 leaders. Now work had started because they’re very, they’re in a fragile condition, 14 – 17, it’s fragile and work had started in November on conserving the buildings and bringing them back to exactly where they were in 1916. Now that work was delayed by protests and occupations in recent months. We have the court ruling and I do need time to consider it in full. And I’m not in a position, at this point, to outline my next course of action but I will consider the judgement and the case is due back in court on April the 5th when we will have further discussions with the judge but I just want to be clear that my priority is to continue the work on the buildings from numbers 14 – 17 Moore Street. And I wouldn’t be in a position to go into any further details at this point.”
Lawlor: “Minister, I know you’re the acting minister, but this is, you know, these are the buildings that have been designated and, indeed, in this very long judgement, the judge talks at length about the case of the Moore Street battle site, how evocative it is and how important it is and how much it impressed him. The state has lost its case. The Save 16 Moore Street people have won their high court case – are you going to appeal to the Supreme Court or are you going to accept the High Court judgement? Surely, this weekend of all weekends, you should be able to say?”
Humphreys: “Yeah, well, the point is 14-17 Moore Street, they are, they’re the four buildings that remain intact. They’re actually the only ones that remain intact and they are my priority because that’s what the last Council of War meeting was held..”
Lawlor: “Is the High Court judgement something you accept?”
Humphreys: “Well, first of all, the High Court judgement, I have to, I do have to look at, and I have to study it, it is 400 pages and we are back in court on the 5th of April to have further discussions with the judge so I must give it due consideration before I make any decision.”
Lawlor: “Do you not give our history more consideration and not leave it to the landowner to appeal if they want to proceed with their development there? I mean the State, surely, it’s interest ought to be our history rather than any development there?”
Humphreys: “Yeah, well I’m being clear, I want to see the work continued on 14-17 Moore Street and the work is to restore it. Now, I have to give, I really do have to give a 400-page judgement, I have to give it due consideration and I, as I said, I and my officials, we’re still studying it and its implications. And, as I said, I will, I have be back in court on the 5th and I will, I will give it consideration.”
Lawlor: “Thank you very much…”
Listen back here
Previously: Moore Protection