- 92B2541B0187574322DEBA0287204ED2

Moore Street Workshop, Mansion House, Thursday 6th February 2020

The killings began in Moore Street on Wednesday. Edward Byrne, aged 22 was shot dead. On Thursday two other men including 79-year-old John O’Duffy were found dying there.

By 5 o’clock the British had erected breastworks at the junction of Moore and Parnell Streets. Thereafter a continuous exchange of fire was kept up.

On Thursday night, a procession of women bearing a white flag left their homes in Moore Street and Parnell Street area, looking for safety. A man was shot and his body thrown by the military on the recently erected barricades.

On Friday, by 3 o'clock, the flames had extended to the roof of the GPO portico and soon burned their way to the interior.  At 6 o'clock, the order was given for the evacuation of the wounded to Jervis Street Hospital. It was clear that the GPO would have to be abandoned.

O Rahilly Charge

The O Rahilly undertook to clear the way for an escape route to Williams and Woods factory and called for around 30 Volunteers.

With bayonets fixed they proceeded towards Moore Street, opening a passage through their own barricade on Henry Street and at a brisk trot rounded Moore Street corner. They charged up Moore Street, half on the near side and the others on the left. Before they got as far as Henry Place/Sampson’s Lane, a volley from the British barricade two hundred yards directly ahead swept the street, followed by a second and third. Hats were knocked off and bullets went through clothes.

There were groans and thuds as several of the Volunteers were cut down. Volunteers Patrick Shortis, Pat O’Connor and Francis Macken died instantly.

At this time, a cat could not have crossed Moore Street unscathed as the Volunteers now more than half way down Moore Street, in doorways and doorsteps answered the British machine gun fire with volley after volley of their own. The din was deafening, smashing glass and splintering woodwork adding their quota to the effect. Sean MacEntee who was in one of the doorways looked up to the windows of the houses opposite and saw the pale, horrified face of a frightened woman. For about half a minute O'Rahilly stood tensely in the doorway then taking advantage of a momentary lull in the firing he nodded swiftly in the direction of his comrades and blew two blasts on his whistle. A few seconds he waited then dashed out into mid street. He had covered only a few yards when he was hit from the barricade and he fell face forward, his sword clattering in front of him. He lay motionless for a few seconds and his comrades thought him dead. Those who made it to Riddle's Row opened fire but soon had to desist. Then with a supreme effort the O'Rahilly dragged himself inch by inch into Sackville Lane where he eventually died of his wounds.

Joe Good was not with the charge but he heard the burst of fire, then the sound of running feet, then the sound of one man’s feet, then silence.

Soon after, the evacuation of the GPO began. An ammunition pouch exploded and John Neale from England was hit, all the lower part of his body absolutely riddled. Others were less seriously wounded.

Henry Street was being swept by machine gun fire from Mary Street direction and for a long time it was impossible to cross the road. The Volunteers dashed from the side door into Henry Lane, the bullets like hailstones hopping on the street. James Connolly was carried across on a stretcher and a little cavalcade of wounded followed with a few women.

Behind them the Post Office was a blazing inferno. Tremendous crashes could be heard from within the building and the heat was so intense that the men had to retreat down Henry Place bit by bit. The only light in the lane was the terrible glare in the skies. The wounded were groaning but no one could attend to them. There seemed to be a state bordering on chaos among the hundreds of Volunteers in the cramped space of the dog-legged laneway.

As the front ranks were crossing Moore Lane intense machine-gun fire was opened from the roof of the Rotunda Hospital. 

Crouching they escaped; those behind them came to a halt. The bullets hitting a white warehouse wall facing Moore Lane raised a cloud of white dust, window high, which in the fading light gave the impression that the enemy fire emanated from that building. Men were trying to get shelter in doorways and against walls from the fire, which no one seemed to know whence it was coming. There were reports of machine gun fire from the rere of two hotels in O'Connell Street.

Orders were given to attack the "White House" and to break into the stores along the lane some of which were believed to be occupied by British forces. A small group that included Michael Collins broke into the "White House" but found it unoccupied. Others forced their way into the stores, a Volunteer dying when a rifle used to batter down the door of O'Brien's Mineral Water Stores exploded into his throat, killing him instantly.

Harry Coyle was seen to fall, killed by a sniper's bullet while trying to open the side door of a shop in the lane.

Michael Mulvihill's body was found the next day in Moore Lane near its junction with Henry Place.

Volunteer Patrick Lynch died in this laneway at this time.

Having discovered the "White House" was no longer a threat the next problem was the junction with Moore Lane which greeted each passing Volunteer with a burst of machine gun fire.

Also present were the prisoners from the GPO. They were released and told to run for it.  As they passed the laneway the troops with the machine gun fired down the lane and Lt Chalmers was shot in the thigh, and the Dublin Fusilier through the head. A D.M.P. man was wounded.

The machine gun fire was at its height. It was imperative that the Volunteers leave the laneway and get under cover. Some of them broke into the nearby houses. The McKane family at 10 Henry Place were hiding under the bed saying the rosary when the father heard a commotion in the back yard and went out to investigate. A Volunteer without waiting for him to open the door broke the glass panel with his rifle. The rifle went off and the bullet pierced the man's shoulder and went straight through, hitting his 16-year-old daughter Bridget in the forehead killing her instantly.

Other Volunteers who had crossed the Moore Lane junction broke into a store and brought out a cart on which they piled all kinds of stuff before moving it across the lane to block the firing down Moore Lane. The Volunteers were now able to pass the lane safely.

Breaking into houses on Moore Street

When they reached the corner of Moore St. Clarke called upon them to occupy these buildings. The side door of the provision shop at the corner of Moore Street and Henry Place was burst open giving access to number 10.

The first-floor room facing Moore Street soon became crowded. The Volunteers were all very fatigued and had thrown themselves down on the floor, preparing to sleep. By this time there were approximately 20 wounded men. Nearly all of these men were carried into the first house including James Connolly who was carried up a narrow staircase with great difficulty. He was put in a bed and made this room the headquarters.

While the crossing of Moore Lane was in progress Pearse ordered a squad to occupy Moore Street to the left towards Henry Street. Shortly after, a shell hit one of these houses which had been evacuated and flattened it out absolutely. By daybreak flames spreading from the G.P.O. pressed these men back to re-join the main body.

A mock barricade was erected across Moore Street to deflect attention from the occupation of the terrace. Shots were exchanged for a while. George Plunkett rescued a British soldier and then carried him back to headquarters.

As soon as the advance part had entered number 10, they began to dig from one building to another in order to extend their position.  They used a very large crowbar, and each man would take his turn at the bar for a few minutes and then stop to rest, a fresh man taking his place. The floors in those houses were not at the same level, so that when the men broke through the wall on a landing of one house they often found themselves a good distance above the floor of the 

next, and mostly they would find they had burst from a hall or landing into a living or bedroom where frightened people were huddled together. There was always the possibility that the British were at the other side of the wall ready to hurtle grenades into their midst. The Volunteers continued to extend their line until they reached the lane which intersects Moore St. about fifty yards from Parnell St.James Kavanagh saw an old man come out of a shop on the opposite side of the street and was immediately shot, crying out all night until he died.

Elizabeth Hanratty, aged 30, was in her room in her husband's butcher’s shop at 39 Moore Street on the corner of Riddles Row when she was shot dead by a stray bullet. Nine-year-old William Mullen, 8 Moore Place, was also in his house when he was shot in the thorax and died.

The Volunteer position was now very vulnerable. As far as possible, no lights, or very few, were lighted. Fires for cooking were used with great discretion, because the heavy smoke from them drew snipers’ fire. Most of the men by this time were utterly tired, exhausted and apparently despondent. A large number in the more or less darkened rooms were saying their rosaries. Except for cups of tea and a few biscuits, the headquarters staff got no food during this period. Water was hard to procure despite there being a tap in the yardway as one ran the danger of being sniped in attempting to get to it. Headquarters staff, consisting of Padraig Pearse, Plunkett, James Connolly, but not Tom Clarke, passed the night in one room in number 10. James Connolly lay on a bed and was conscious the whole time, chatting quietly with the others. In the same room as Connolly was the wounded British soldier, a Dublin Fusilier, that Plunkett had rescued.

Next morning

When dawn broke the situation was becoming critical. The Volunteers would have to move out of the terrace. Efforts were made to erect a barricade which would afford a safe crossing to Sampson’s Lane: these failed. It was becoming more perilous by the minute.

It was equally perilous for the civilians who still remained in the street. The lower end of Moore Street had been practically demolished. Nos 1-6 and 59-62 Moore Street were destroyed. William Heavey, aged 32, carried on business at 57 Moore Street Dublin. When his house caught fire, he was shot on his own doorstep, by a sniper. Another man killed early on Saturday morning was John Murphy, who ran a business at the corner of Henry Street and Moore Street. A further casualty on Saturday was Mary Ann Corrigan, 8 Engine Alley, Moore Lane. She was a widow and worked as a dealer.

After breakfast, James Connolly and the other wounded men were carried through the holes from No. 10, and all others followed. Connolly was put to bed in a back room in 16 Moore Street. It was here the members of the Provisional Government held a council of war

The civilian casualty rate increased as more families tried to leave their home. Patrick McManus 12 Moore Street aged 67 was shot dead. Robert Dillon, aged 64, who ran a poultry and shop business in 8 Moore Street left his home with his wife and daughter carrying a white flag. He was shot through the throat and head and died instantly.

The Doyle and McDonagh families, tenants at No. 16, feared that the chemist shop Gore's, beside them would catch fire and decided that they must try and seek safety with their friends in the opposite lane. Mr. Doyle attached his wife's apron to an umbrella followed by seven others (one carrying a child), they dashed out on to the roadway; immediately they were sprayed with bullets. Mr. Doyle, wounded, fell in front of his wife, who tried to drag him after her, but she was also wounded before she reached the opposite pavement.  Mr. Doyle was brought to the Rotunda Hospital where he died.

The atmosphere at the meeting of the Provisional Government was grim. Sean McLoughlin who had been appointed to the rank of Commandant the night before was sent for. He suggested that he would assemble a small body of men in Sackville Lane numbering from 20 to 30. Everyone else would be brought down to the doorways which would be open ready in all the houses in Moore Street. He proposed on a signal to rush the men towards the barricade at the end of Moore Street. 

He would throw a bomb from the corner towards the British and immediately the whole body in Moore Street would dash across the street into the laneways on the opposite side and re-form and then make their way if possible, to the Four Courts and fight it out with Daly there. Pearse remarked that more innocent people would be killed.  

McLoughlin was given the go ahead and went out and formed the men into the "Death or Glory Squad" - 20 men with bayonets. He moved them up to the yard of 25 Moore Street adjoining Sackville Lane and "Stood" them in the yard. Each man was given instructions what to do. Bayonets were fixed

Pearse had witnessed some of the killings and felt the only solution to prevent further loss of civilian life was surrender. Orders were given that there is to be no shooting upon any account. Plunkett was calm. Tears were in McDermott's eyes. So too with Willie Pearse. Connolly stared in front of him. Clarke had wanted to fight on.

Word was quickly sent to McLoughlin who was just about to lead the charge when a Volunteer rushed into this yard and said that the bayonet charge was to be cancelled. The relief was palpable.

The Volunteers were marched through the rooms in companies. Sean McDermott read Pearse's letter and explained that they had surrendered to save not themselves but the citizens. The news of the surrender was not well received by the men, particularly those in the Kimmage Battalion who had come from England and were not expecting any mercy from the British military authorities. The men were assembled in the yard of Hanlon’s shop at 20-21 Moore Street and they listened to Michael Collins, Tom Clarke and Joe Plunkett make a case for the surrender but they were not convinced until Sean MacDermott spoke in a quiet voice with enormous concentration and total confidence. He told them to look at the dead civilians outside and how many more would die if the fight continued. Only the leaders would be shot, the ordinary Volunteer would live to fight another day: we who will be shot will die happy - knowing that there are still plenty of you around who will finish the job. Remember lads, we're not beaten; we will go on again some time and we'll never forget the gallant lads who have fallen in the fight.

A white flag was hung from number 15 Moore Street and Nurse O'Farrell left from there about 12.45 p.m., carrying a small white flag, and approached the barricade at the top of the street. The military stopped firing and she told the officer in charge that Pearse wanted to treat with him. She was brought over the barricade and brought as a prisoner to Tom Clarke's shop where General Lowe arrived 45 minutes later. General Lowe brought her back to Moore Street and told her to tell Pearse that he would not treat at all unless he unconditionally surrendered.

Nurse O'Farrell returned to number 16 and gave Pearse the message. She was sent back with a message from Pearse which Lowe rejected. He told her that if Pearse did not surrender within 30 minutes he would begin hostilities again. The members of the Provisional Government held a short council and Pearse accompanied Nurse O'Farrell back to General Lowe. Pearse was taken away in a car to write the notes of surrender for the other garrisons. The Rising was over.

James Connolly was brought out on a stretcher and was taken in charge by the soldiers. There was one more death. John Neale who had been injured just before the evacuation of the GPO was brought to Dublin Castle Hospital. Some kind hearted Tommy loosened his bindings and he died in three hours.


The Volunteers poured out into Moore Street and lined up for the last march. Plunkett marched beside them carrying a white flag. Corpses lay here and there on the pavement; soldiers, Volunteers, civilians, bloody and prostrate. Around and as far as they could see the buildings smouldered still.

More Volunteers had died in a few hours in the lanes around Moore Street than in any other engagement during Easter Week. The Battle of Moore Street was over. It signalled the end of the Easter Rising but the spark had been lit and it was only a few years before it would burst into flame again.


The above text is an edited extract taken from the Battle of Moore Street/Cath Shráid Uí Mhórdha by Ray Bateson and Published by Kilmainham Tales. The narrative in the book is condensed from all the witness statements of those who fought in the battle.

Kilmainham Tales Teo's 
submission to the 
Moore Street Consultative Committee
On Friday November 4th, 2016, Micheál Ó Doibhilín, MD of Kilmainham Tales Teo. addressed the Moore Street Consultative Committee in Dublin's City Hall.
   This Committee was established by Minister for (among other things) Heritage to address the issue of what to do with Moore Street battlefield Site and to report back to her.
   Mícheál was accompanied by historian and author Ray Bateson, and a copy of Ray's latest work for Kilmainham Tales - "The Battle of Moore Street" - was presented to the members of the Committee.
   Below is the text of Mícheál's address.
Táimíd fíor buíoch díbh deis a thabhairt dom ár fís do suíomh cogaidh Sráid Uí Mhórdha a chur ós bhúr chomhair anso inniú.
   I thank you for the opportunity to present our vision of the future of the Moore Street Battlefield Site to you today.
First, a little about me and those I represent as their publisher.
   I have published, and am continuing to publish, books on aspects of Irish history up to and including the Easter Rising not often considered by others. My authors are some of the most respected in their fields as a simple list of their names shows – noted historians such as:
   Paul O'Brien who, apart from the four books he has written for me has also written for other publishing houses on all the battle sites of the Easter Rising;
   Ray Bateson, who is here with me today, has written two books for me utilising the words and experiences of the Rising’s participants, and separately written six other books including four on the participants in the Rising on both sides;
   Las Fallon, noted Fire Brigade historian and author, who’s understanding of the physical effects of the Easter Rising on the fabric of this city is unrivalled;
   Joe Connell, who has written for me on the priests, the women, the educators and the educated of the Rising, and for others on the locations and Volunteer and Citizen Army participants in it;
   Shane Kenna who, apart from the two books for me has also written two of the most well received works on Irish revolutionary history in recent years;
   Ciara Scott – “Countess Markievicz”;
   Rory O'Dwyer, a lecturer in UCC, with whom I wrote about the restoration of Kilmainham Gaol as a national monument, has also written elsewhere about the Eucharistic Congress and is an expert on commemoration and public involvement in celebration,
   Eddie Bohan, another historian who looks at specific aspects of the Easter Rising etc.
   These, between them, have written and had published over thirty major books on the history of the Easter Rising and aspects of it.
   Interestingly, Paul O'Brien, Shane Kenna, Ciara Scott, Rory O’Dwyer, are all, like myself, either guides or ex-guides of Kilmainham Gaol, with first-hand knowledge of working in a national monument with a major connection with the Easter Rising, and they and the rest of my authors all feel as I do that the Moore Street area in its entirety is the most significant extant battle site of that Rising and the ideal location to establish a permanent memorial.
   I spent 10 years working in Kilmainham Gaol as a guide and researcher and gained unrivalled insight into the operation of such a site of National and international importance. During my time in the Gaol, I estimate that I guided and educated well over a quarter of a million people – a top estimate would be 350,000. But they all educated me too, some in greater ways than others – but I will return to this anon.
   The Moore Street Battlefield Site has the potential to become a major asset for the city of Dublin that will far exceed any temporary and dubious benefit another shopping centre might provide beside the existing one.
   As the last remaining intact battlefield site of the Easter Rising it uniquely encapsulates all three sides of that conflict, i.e. the two opposing armies …. and the civilians caught between them. This must be borne in mind as we utilise the area to remember and commemorate the world-changing events that that Rising itself represents.
   Our vision is of a streetscape that emulates that of 1916, i.e. the battlefield as it existed at the time. To this end, of course, all the houses of the terrace from 10 to 25 should be restored sensitively to look much as they then did, and the laneways of such incredible history must be preserved and accessible.
   We want to see a place where the Battle of Moore Street and, through it, the 1916 Easter Rising, is remembered, celebrated, commemorated, researched and communicated to all.
   The Easter Rising was a pivotal event in the history of these Western European islands, and that involved and shared history should be on view for all to see, learn and understand.
   The battle of Moore Street was the concluding battle of the Easter Rising. It is not just about the surrender of the Republican army, but about the events that culminated in the decision to seek terms of surrender for the sake of the third element of the war – the civilians.
   We believe that the Moore Street of 1916 can live again in harmony with the 21st century and beyond in a way that will benefit all citizens of Dublin positively.
   We do not mean as some Hollywood screen set, a pastiche of false frontages – but as a practical, working street that serves as the major commemorative 1916 site in Ireland.
   My unique experience of 10 years working in Kilmainham Gaol has permitted me to come to some understanding of the needs and wants of the different types of tourists who visit sites such as this, and of how best to service them. In my time there I guided ordinary citizens from all over the world; I took specialist tours, including archaeological groups from our universities, political groupings from the four corners of this island and others; I took politicians from Ireland and other countries, historians, relatives of those executed or imprisoned; schoolchildren and university students. I advised on leaving cert presentations and university theses, and ultimately came to write and publish myself.
   But always I was watching, listening and learning. I quickly realised that there is no ‘one size fits all” solution, as there are different classes of visitor. Clearly, there would be those who would come to Moore Street to ‘gawk’ and have their photos taken with their selfie sticks, with no other interest than to say “I was there”. For them, the street should look authentic.
   Then there are those who want to hear the story, to add it to their store of knowledge and even learn enough to understand what was happening – for them the terrace must provide a sufficiently detailed informed overview in an interesting way in a short period of time.
   And there are those genuinely interested, who come with some fore-knowledge, who perhaps had a relative involved or know someone who had, and wish detailed information. For them, there must be facilities to dig deeper, to go behind the veneer and into the very guts of the Rising.
   Finally, there will be the researchers – those who, for school, college, university or publisher, wish more information, a greater understanding, of the  events of 1916 and expect that that should be available here too.
   So, how do you satisfy these disparate needs?
   Assuming the site is properly conserved and restored, then the first requirement is a cohort of top class guides, people who know and understand the history, who can retell it in an inclusive, inviting and interesting manner, and discuss it with interested individuals. Language skills – i.e. knowledge of languages other than English and Irish – would be a requirement to facilitate the many foreign visitors to this site, of course.
   We saw in Kilmainham Gaol how important the story-telling skills of the guides were, and their ability to adapt – without changing – the story to suit different interest levels. It was important to have continuity of employment so that a guide would gain knowledge over time, becoming more and more expert over the years. The visitors appreciated this, as a glance at the reviews on TripAdvisor will verify – for they expected the guide to be able to either answer all questions or at least know where the answer may be found. 
   Therefore, while acknowledging that some additional guides would be required during the seasonal high points, there should be sufficient permanent guides who are encouraged to carry out their own research and, if possible to publish … a point I will return to again.
   But what will these guides be guiding the visitor around? What will be there for the visitor to see?
   Apart from the streetscape, each and every building has a unique story to tell, as Ray Bateson has so eloquently verified in his book “Battle of Moore Street” through the words of those who were there which I have just published.
   Consider these houses as rooms in a modern, interactive museum – each room telling a part of the story the museum is dedicated to. I’m not a fan of too many audio-visual aids …. apart from anything else they slow down and therefore limit the stream of viewers, as both the Titanic Experience in Belfast and the new GPO centre will verify … but there must be in each building both visual reminders and interpretations of its past.
   In doing this we should not lose sight of those three sides of the Rebellion, and this is where they can best be addressed. Individual buildings can tell either the story of the Irish volunteers,
story of the Irish volunteers, or the British soldiers, or the civilians. There are many contemporary or relevant later accounts which can be drawn on to give a thorough and fair account of each of these groups, one or more building each, as required.
   Obviously artefacts will be on display – original or
reproduction as suitable to their location and function – with maquettes and life-size models to engage and educate the visitor.
   The visitor should progress up the street from number 10 to number 25 in some orderly manner, led by their guide. Whether they travel up Moore Street itself, or the lanes around it or through the buildings via mouseholes is a detailed decision that can be made at a later time, and may depend entirely on the group’s interest.
   A self-guided museum taking over several buildings should finish the tour. Here some hands-on experiences can be incorporated – the opportunity to sit behind a British machinegun or to aim a rifle from a window, or to examine a field first-aid kit as used on either side for example – with as much audio-visual assets as the designers and historians deem necessary. Among the facilities here can be computers where one can carry out genealogical research or look up the newspapers of the period etc.
   A shop, of course, would be incorporated into the museum, where all kinds of souvenirs and memorabilia would be available – from flags, photos, keyrings to books, both specialist and general, but avoiding the tat that usually infests such shops.
   So far I have talked primarily about the tourist. But there are others who would wish to come to Moore Street, and who should be encouraged to do so. There are relatives of those involved on all sides, and should be welcomed and encouraged. To this end there should be always on site at least one resident historian (separate to the tour guides) to talk with and debrief these relatives as it is my experience that so much history simple walks in the door of sites such as this, brought by these relatives. Their specialist, focused knowledge needs to be garnered and recorded, their artefacts copied or accepted (if offered for donation) and their details recorded for future contact as required.
   This historian should be fully versed in the history of the Moore Street area in particular but also the wider Rebellion history and able to discuss this with the relatives. I found in Kilmainham Gaol that, by being able to do this re the Gaol’s history, I gathered so much additional information and many donations of invaluable material over the years.
   Of course, this site must also commemorate the events that occurred here, and the people involved. Annually there would be ceremonies both macro and micro, by the Government and individual organisations. There would also be ceremonies of commemoration at various other times of the year for many reasons and these must all be facilitated. Therefore one or more of the buildings must be able to house these events. A non-denominational or multi-denominational space should be created which, perhaps, could duplicate as a lecture theatre on other occasions.
History, however, is not dead, nor is it ever completely known or understood, so research into the whole of the Easter Rising must continue and be encouraged. The events that led up to it, the individuals and organisations that took part in it, it’s effect on Irish, British and World affairs – these must all be explored and examined and understood. New times, events and discoveries bring new insights and understandings, and so this will be a never-ending journey. Some of the buildings in the Moore Street terrace should to house a research facility, with a world-class library – physical and/or digital – to enable researchers, both student and professional – carry out their research. Accommodation should be available upstairs to rent by these researchers, and in addition bursaries should be awarded to students in our major universities (and possibly those abroad) to come to Moore Street and carry out onsite research for their theses. These would be expected to give updates on their research in the onsite theatre throughout the year.
   There should be sections devoted to the two sides of the battle, and to the civilians caught in their crossfire. Histories of regiments and stories of soldiers should be presented in parallel with those of the Volunteers and individual insurgents, and joining them should be the stories of brave or unlucky civilians, for whom this battle cost so much.
   The smells and taste of 1916 Moore Street should also be available to the visitor. Whether this experience is provided within the prime terrace or not is debateable, however. There are only so many buildings, and such an amount of potential uses, that I believe current street businesses might usefully be encouraged to “theme” their premises on the far side and at either end and include cafes and restaurants to complement this historical quarter while reflecting the international character of our citizenry and visitors today. Grants should be available for this purpose – and this means that control would be exercised over what, exactly, they do. Such premises would be open late and, coupled with the resident researchers, caretakers and others in the historic terrace, would help to keep the street alive throughout the night as well as the day.
   The restoration of the
street stalls and market – albeit today with produce from all over the world instead of just native farm produce – would help to attract visitors in their droves.
   But most of all, it is the history, architectural, social, political, that will attract people again and again, and ensure the longevity of this site.
   The Lord Mayor’s Forum has recently published a report which addresses many of the issues I have discussed today, and I do not find myself in conflict or disagreement in any major way with any of what that report says. In particular, I agree with its view that the actual streetscape be restored to its 1916 appearance as far as practicable and cleared of modern traffic during the day. Street lighting should be of the period, and the cobbles cleaned and visible. Just to be able to walk on the streets of history would be an incredible experience for so many.
   A place like Moore Street is a gift that keeps on giving. It gives to the city and people of Dublin in so many ways – it gives us pride in our past, it gives us knowledge of that past, and it gives us an income from it too.
   I helped take Kilmainham Gaol from c.75,000 visitors a year to 320,000 visitors a year during my time there, which brings me back to the need to have permanent guides.
   During my 10 years in Kilmainham Gaol I personally took  approximately 336,000 people through it, and saw many people come back again and again. They came because, for them, each visit they gained more information and insight into the prison. Each year the permanent guides had new information and insight which they had gained during the year to share, and they appreciated that.
   As a permanent guide in Kilmainham Gaol I was able to provide continuity. I quickly became expert in the Gaol’s history – all aspects of it, social political, architectural – and trained temporary seasonal guides. I became the ‘go-to’ person whenever they had a query, or someone on their tours had a query they could not answer. I researched the Gaol’s various histories myself, and encouraged others to do so too. To this end, I established an in-house magazine for the guides, which they wrote based on their research. In this way they were encouraged to research and to get, in many cases, their first article published in a peer-reviewed publication. This magazine, which I called “Sentences”, quickly became a valued resource for all and was the most popular item in our library. Even today, although it ceased publication when I left, it is still referred to by all interested guides.
   There is scope for such a publication in Moore Street, not just for the guides but for the public. Whether it be monthly, quarterly or annually, the guides and researchers should be encouraged to contribute and would be an ideal vehicle for the publication of their latest research. It would also include news of upcoming events, photos and reports of commemorations etc.
   The magazine could be produced inhouse or by an external publisher – but it should be done, no matter by whom.
   And who’s going to do all this work – the renovation/ restoration of the buildings, their conversion to the envisaged usages, the running of the whole enterprise once established, the PR, the training, the budgetary management etc., etc? Who’s going to pay for it?
   If the Government considers it worth €6,000,000 to restore Kilmainham Courthouse, with little if any 1916 connection, or hands out €12,000,000+ for the GPO experience, or €12,000,000 to restore Glasnevin, then the money can – and must – be found for the Moore Street Battlefield Site.
   Put it out to tender if you wish, as a public/private partnership. Let those who wish to make money there tender for that right – those who currently hold planning permission for part of this site may see that, long-term, there is more to be made from this idea than the quick profit of yet another unwanted shopping mall which will only demean the area and, eventually, be abandoned as retail fashions change to online purchase and the sky is filled with Amazon’s delivery drones. Let these commercial interests, for once, become partners with our great city rather than its enemies. Let them profit through partnership, rather than division, through contributing rather than taking.
   So there you have it, our vision for the development of the Moore Street Battlefield Site into the future. A cosmopolitan street, yes, but one that is rooted firmly in Ireland, in 1916 and before. A street we can be proud of once more, and a street that will express its pride in its own history to the world. A street that will, at long last, explain our history to the world so that the world can understand it. A self-sustaining street that will become a major resource for this city, while ensuring we never forget what we owe to those who fought over its future there.

   Go raibh maith agaibh.

Mícheál Ó Doibhilín
Kilmainham Tales Teo.

An Important New Book

The Battle of Moore Street – 28-29 April, 1916 – marked the end of the Easter Rising, but not the end of the struggle for Irish freedom.

Drawing on the recollections and words of those who were there, historian Ray Bateson retells the thrilling story of those two desperate days as the members of the GPO Garrison sought valiantly to fight their way out of the encircling rings of fire and British firepower that threatened to destroy them and those they fought to free..

Now, 100 years later, this is the most significant battlefield site remaining from those days that changed not just Ireland, but the World.

This book is essential reading for all who wish to understand the national significance of Moore Street and the surrounding area, and the bravery of those who fought and died there.

Significantly No. 16 in the Kilmainham Tales series, this is an essential part of any library on the Easter Rising and is available here

- 92B2541B0187574322DEBA0287204ED2