I propose to take Questions Nos. 44, 45 and 52 together.
As the Deputies are aware, the Moore Street Advisory Group (MSAG) was established to represent and work with all stakeholders (including the owner of the development site surrounding the State owned National Monument at Nos. 14 - 17 Moore St) to help broker regeneration solutions that can be supported by all concerned.
I received the report of the MSAG - Securing History 2 - in August and would like to sincerely thank the members for their invaluable contributions during their time on the Group. I am conscious of the huge voluntary commitment by all concerned.
Among the main recommendations of the report are that:
- there is an urgent need to secure the fabric of the national monument at Nos. 14 to 17 Moore Street and that the MSAG confirms its support for the OPW to advance this process as soon as possible;
- my Department should develop a scoping document on the potential for an increased State and State supported heritage and culture presence in the area;
- an expert group should be appointed by Dublin City Council to lead the urgent regeneration of the Moore Street market; and
- the MSAG should be reconfigured to a smaller more focussed group in order to move the process forward as quickly as possible.
Work is in progress on all of these recommendations. My Department is liaising with the Office of Public Works with a view to progressing the completion of the conservation of the national monument buildings so that they can be opened for presentation to the public. The Irish Heritage Trust has been engaged to develop the scoping document referred to in the report and will have the full support of my Department's officials in this regard. I can also confirm that I have asked Dublin City Council to act on the recommendation for the expert group to lead the regeneration of the street market and I understand that this is in course of being set up. I would also shortly hope to appoint a chair to lead the next phase of the MSAG's work.
I regard the Securing History 2 report as a significant milestone in the revitalisation of this crucial part of our capital city. The proposals put forward by Hammerson are sympathetic to and embrace the history and heritage of O’Connell Street and the Moore Street area and can be aligned with the objectives of protecting the national monument at Nos. 14 -17, opening it to the public and resonating the mercantile, social and political heritage of the area as a 1916 commemorative quarter. I understand that a recent statement from the Moore Street Traders Association has expressed its members' full backing for the proposals which it sees as providing an important opportunity for their businesses to become viable again.
I welcome the prospect there now is for reviving the Moore Street area and its market and to give Dublin a national main street and historic area to be proud of.