Sinn Féin and relatives of the 1916 leaders have asked Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to stop the proposed auction of 14-17 Moore street, the last site occupied by rebels before surrounding to the British during the Easter Rising.

No 16 was where the rebels made the decision to surrender on Saturday, April 29, 1916.

A letter to the Taoiseach asks him to remove the 1916 sites from the Project Jewel portfolio of developer Joe O’Reilly, currently under the control of Nama, the Irish Times reports.

“We are now making a final and formal request to you and members of your Government to act immediately to ensure that the protection and preservation of the battlefield is ensured,” the letter states. 

“The 1916 ‘freedom quarter’ must be removed from Project Jewel by whatever means necessary in the national interest.”

In 2007, the four buildings were declared national monuments, but have since remained derelict.

Sinn Féin TD Sandra McLellan, chairwoman of the Oireachtas Committee on Moore Street, said direct intervention from the Taoiseach was needed to protect the historic site.

“It’s the most important site in Irish history. The National Museum has stated this,” she said.

The Irish Times reports that a spokesperson for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said the government has been engaged in talks with the monument owners to conclude the transfer of the property into state ownership as soon as possible.

In March the Minister for Heritage Heather Humphreys announced that the government planned to acquire the property with the intention of developing a 1916 commemorative center at the site, to be opened to the public next year.