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 Header Item Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2015 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages (Continued)
 Header Item 1916 Quarter Development Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed) [Private Members]

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 901 No. 2

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An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt The Bill which is considered, by virtue of Article 20.2.2o of the Constitution, as a Bill initiated in the Dáil Éireann, will now be sent to the Seanad.

1916 Quarter Development Bill 2015: Second Stage (Resumed) [Private Members]

Question again put: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy I welcome the opportunity to contribute to this debate. While I acknowledge that progress has been made on the national monument in Moore Street, in that the buildings have been bought and there is a plan and funding in place, what has not been achieved is our ensuring that the buildings will be preserved in their context. It is only when one visits the site and is taken through what was the battlefield that one appreciates the importance of the context.

I remember how the events of 1966 were marked and there is no doubt there was a degree of triumphalism at the time, which was very understandable given that some of those who took part in the Rising were still alive and would have been involved in shaping the event and making sure the legacy of the leaders was properly preserved. I imagine the tone and content of the 2016 commemorations will be different. I was in primary school at the time of the earlier commemoration and I remember such events as the renaming of the railway stations and streets, the pageantry and the parades. I was perhaps more interested than most because my grandparents had taken part in the Rising and both of them were in the Four Courts garrison. Therefore, it was a subject that was a constant among my family. There is no doubt that 2016 will be different in both tone and content. However, the children who are in primary school now and who will remember the 100th anniversary of the Rising in decades to come will all have markers in the same way as I did. Some will be physical markers such as buildings, the museum in the GPO and the work in Kilmainham Gaol are great examples, and the battlefield site such as Moore Street should be one of those markers. I believe the context will be different in 2016.

History is brought to life when it is in context and that is what is important here and that is why the wider battlefield site should be preserved.


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