There have been a lot of ups and downs, questions, and contentious debates in Dublin regarding just what to do with Moore Street. It is home to one of the only outdoor produce and farmer’s markets left in the city, it is a magnet for black market cigarette sales and it is an historical gem that should never be lost. All around the area, you can find shopping centers, malls, restaurants, and hotels rising into the sky, dwarfing the historically significant buildings and edging out the market, little by little. There’s been talk of development and yet another mall, hotel or shopping center, despite how many are already there.
Historically it needs to be preserved. This is where the soldiers trapped in the burning GPO made their escape in 1916. The alley they ran through is a shady spot – some people have witnessed drug sales and shakedowns of various degrees. It’s not the best area – but what back alley is? The buildings above the market, where the escapees busted through walls for at least half a city block are ramshackle and almost entirely empty. Everyone knows something has to be done about them, but no one can agree what that thing is.
One idea is a museum dedicated to the Rising, and in my opinion, it would be a great use of the buildings. All over Dublin you see plaques above stores or modern restaurants that say things like “This used to be where some great thing happened or some important person lived” but now it is a mall, an empty building or a car park. For that to happen to these buildings would be a travesty, but unfortunately not everyone believes that.
The market is important too. People survive on it – and the area needs a bit of home and freshness, if you ask me – lest it be taken over by yet another modern and less full of life dead tech rest stop for the weary shoppers. It’s hard to believe that city leaders wouldn’t be fighting hard for the market and the museum, if only to keep the history and flair alive in their town. They aren’t though. People have been arguing for years about this place – and slowly the market dwindles and the buildings become even more decrepit.
There are a lot of ideas. There are many protests and grass roots activists that want to stop the development and save the area. They have some political support too, thankfully – but the area is still in question after many years, and just last night the vote on whether to go ahead with the museum was delayed yet again.
For me, it doesn’t have to be a museum – I’d just hate to see another one of those plaques where there should be more history. I don’t understand why people would prefer another shopping center, rather than a fresh produce market where you are face to face with the people who grew or made the product. I can’t imagine what a hollow heartbreak it would be for me to visit the area again in 2016 and to have all the buildings and market be gone, let alone what it would do to the people who try to make a living there. Please get behind the “Save Moore Street” projects if they are anywhere near you – and if you’re in Dublin, tell your leaders the same.