Relatives of Ireland’s martyred heroes rally to preserve Easter Rising HQ
Heart of a Dublin - Last Battlefield of 1916, on Moore Street, is the soul of a nation
They are a part of the history of the Irish nation. Their relatives signed the Proclamation of the Republic and led the Easter Rising in 1916. And, these descendants of the executed leaders of the Provisional Government today are leading a different movement, one which seeks to preserve and protect the last battlefield of 1916 from the commercial interests and crass development which threatens to destroy the National Monument, which is Moore Street.
Just as their relatives joined together to fight the British forces in 1916, today the descendants of those brave leaders are members of the Save Moore Street Committee which seeks to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising by creating a living monument to the revolutionary era by preserving and restoring the street where the GPO Garrison sought shelter and five members of the Provisional Government made the decision to surrender to the British forces to prevent further bloodshed.
Right now, that street faces an assault by commercial interests which could destroy its remaining eighteenth century architecture and eliminate the small shops and street market flavor that has characterized Moore Street since the nineteenth century. And, most importantly, those actions could destroy an important historical treasure, making it simply a footnote in a Dublin guidebook.
“As you can imagine, our heritage was drummed into us at an early age. ”, said Muriel McAuley, granddaughter of Thomas MacDonagh, one of the seven signatories of the Proclamation and Commandant of the Jacob’s Biscuit Garrison, during the Rising, who was executed by British firing squad on May , 1916. “It was also suggested that we not speak politically, as it would not be seen as we speaking, but our forebears”, she continued. “Many of the other descendants have the same attitude. We tend not to get involved in committees and organizations, but when it became obvious that not only the last headquarters of 1916, but also the last command headquarters which had not been either demolished or virtually rebuilt was about to be just about flattened, with just a cursory shell remaining, then we felt that we could not stand by and let it happen without protest. We owe this to coming generations. “
Mrs. McAuley, in fact, has connections to three of the executed leaders. Her mother, the daughter of Commandant MacDonagh, also was a godchild of Padraig Pearse, and a niece of Grace Gifford, who married Joseph Mary Plunkett, at Kilmainham Jail on the eve of his execution.
The 1916 relatives hope that their involvement in the campaign to preserve and protect the Moore Street Terrace will raise awareness of the significance of this area, designated a National Monument in 2007, and the events which occurred in the streets, shops and apartments of Moore Street on April 27 through 29, in 1916.
Joseph Plunkett’s grand-niece Honor O Brolchain points out that, until she became involved in the Save Moore Street Campaign, she was unaware of the importance of the street to the story of the Easter Rising, despite the fact that Joseph and his two brothers all surrendered on Moore Street.
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olovely - BRAVO!