Finally, the Dublin City Council decided to actually vote on the Moore Street dilemma. They have been putting it off as the contention grew to palpable levels and more and more people got involved in the process. At issue was an opaque “Land Swap” which was an idea that involved a lot of special interests, veiled corruption and back room deals – but in the end, the deal was finally defeated yesterday.
On its face, the idea would have guaranteed a 1916 Museum that had to be completed by the centennial anniversary in 18 (ish) months – which I would have been a delighted to visit, but not at the high cost to the neighborhood. It doesn’t need another shopping centre. The lovely outdoor market would have suffered and closed, a multitude of historical places would have been at risk and another incredibly important site in Dublin would be reduced to a plaque on a wall commemorating what used to be there. There’s already a heartbreaking amount of that throughout the Dublin city center – and I am thrilled that the council said no to another.
That said, I really would have been delighted to visit a 1916 museum. However, it’s not a race to complete one – there’s no deadline. I would love to visit one whenever it is built, as long as it is done in the best interest of the people. I think that if any construction is done in that neighborhood, it should first be carefully and respectfully excavated and explored for all the history that has been falling into dereliction for years, and then restored and cared for. Putting in a museum, school, or historical center would accomplish all of those things, add to the local economy and give people like me who are obsessed with history a wonderful place to spend an afternoon or five. I was absolutely flummoxed to visit Dublin and NOT find one there already. I hope that this vote is a step in the direction of designating the entire area a battlefield site – and that the developers who own parcels of the neighborhood will now listen to reason and the pleas for preservation. Kudos to those on the council who voted it down and to the wonderful campaigns of the Save Moore Street people. Now get to work and find an Irish company who would be happy to restore both the buildings and the history for the generations to come.