An Bille um Cheathrú Chultúir 1916, 2021: First Stage

I do not know what the translation of the Title is. B'fhéidir go mbeidh an Teachta Ó Snodaigh in ann aistriúchán a thabhairt air sin.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the establishment of a body to be known as Ceathrú Chultúir 1916 Teoranta, to define its functions in relation to the preservation, restoration and management of the cultural historical quarter within the Moore Street Battlefield Area in line with the functions, aims and objectives set for it in this Act and to provide for connected matters.

Is "culture quarter" é.

Táim ag lorg cead an Bhille seo a thabhairt isteach sa Dáil ar an gCéad Chéim. Is é an rud atá i gceist sa Bhille seo ná ceathrú cultúir a chruthú sa cheantar sin atá leagtha síos ag an Ard-Chúirt mar shuíomh Pháirc an Chatha Shráid an Mhúraigh chun ní amháin caomhnú a dhéanamh ar an gceantar ach chun beocht a chur ann an athuair. Bheadh sé i gceist go mbeadh bord i gceannas chun a chinntiú go mbeadh fís agus spiorad 1916 á thabhairt chun cuimhne in imeachtaí agus cur chuige na ceathrúna sin.

The Bill is similar in purpose and form to the current Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage's Moore Street Area Renewal and Development Bill 2015. In introducing that Bill, he told the Seanad that the project was to ensure that "as the area is developed in the future it is conserved and preserved in order that we can be proud of it when we look back in ten years’ time and that we can say we did the right thing." He also stated:

There should be no further commercial development work in the vicinity of this site or in the area. The strongest way to secure that is to designate it as a historical quarter.

If enacted, this Bill would demonstrate that we value Irish history, culture and the memory of those who died for Irish freedom and that we respect tourism and the economy by establishing a cultural quarter, An Cheathrú, in this area. An Cheathrú would be tasked with the preservation, restoration and management of the cultural historical quarter within the Moore Street battlefield area, which was designated by the High Court in 2016 as being the lands, buildings, streets and lanes within an area, including Moore Street, Henry Place, O'Rahilly Parade and Moore Lane, in which the 1916 Rising Volunteers travelled after evacuating the GPO. The National Museum has defined Moore Street as the most important street in Ireland for historical reasons. The Bill recognises that fact and ensures that the Minister would be required to issue a preservation order on the terrace and curtilage of Nos. 10 to 25 Moore Street, the GPO, the buildings known as the White House, the O'Brien's bottling stores in Henry Place, and the lanes, streets and boundaries known as Moore Street, Moore Lane, Henry Place and O'Rahilly Parade. This area is a national monument of extreme importance.

It is opportune that the Bill is being introduced today because Moore Street is once again under threat of destruction and redevelopment in a manner that is not befitting such an historic monument. This time it is the British shopping centres owner Hammerson, which was virtually gifted the site by the National Asset Management Agency, NAMA, when Mr. Joe O'Reilly's property empire crumbled. It is a strange world that the head of Hammerson Ireland worked for NAMA for a period. Destroying or partially destroying such an important site to make way for a commercial development is tantamount to historical and cultural vandalism and makes little sense.

As well as confirming a permanent outdoor market within Moore Street, which is the oldest food market in Dublin, the Bill would, in developing a cultural quarter, reflect the ideals of the revolutionary men and women of the 1916 Rising, creating a hub of commemorative, cultural, artistic, musical, dramatic, historical, literary, poetic and Irish language activities. It is envisioned that An Cheathrú would help the transformation of the site into a living museum that would educate and prompt further research and study of the revolutionary vision and events of the 1916 Rising. The Rising brought together many strands of Irish society - nationalists, teachers, poets, artists, socialists, conservatives and workers, both skilled and unskilled. The events that took place on Moore Street and the surrounding battlefield area are key to the story of a momentous week, one that needs to be retold for the benefit of future generations through the creation of a living museum on the hallowed ground upon which people fought their final fight. The overall aim is to restore the area as much as possible to how it would have appeared in 1916 during the Easter Rising. Visitors would then be able to gain an understanding of what those involved experienced during Easter week and also learn about the momentous events that took place.

Tá sé tábhachtach dár n-oidhreacht go nglacfar leis an mBille seo agus go mbeadh an deis againn athnuachan agus athfhorbairt chuí a dhéanamh ar an gceantar in ómós dóibh siúd a bhí ann ag an am, don mhéid a tharla 105 bliain ó shin, don fhís a bhí acu, agus go mbeadh margadh buan ar an tsráid sin. Táim ag impí ar dhaoine ligean don Bhille seo dul ar aghaidh go dtí an Dara Céim agus go ndéanfaimid é a achtú chomh tapa agus is féidir.

Is the Bill opposed?

Question put and agreed to.

Since this is a Private Members' Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members' time.

I move: "That the Bill be taken in Private Members' time."

Question put and agreed to.