Join the Campaign to Protect Moore Street and the 1916 Battlefield site

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Manage episode 269603788 series 2711022
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This podcast is going to deal with the shameful refusal of successive Irish governments to develop a national monument, a cultural quarter, a revolutionary quarter, a freedom quarter, a 1916 quarter on the battlefield site of Moore St.

For those of you who don’t know Moore Street runs parallel to O’Connell Street from Parnell Street to Henry Street beside the GPO.

16 Moore Street was the last meeting place of five of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation - the leaders who planned and led the 1916 Easter Rising.

It is also where the O’Rahilly - a leader of the Volunteers- was killed.

In April 1916 the small streets around the GPO in Dublin were the site of a fierce battle between republican forces seeking independence and British forces determined to defeat them.

On Friday evening, 28 April, and with the GPO in flames, the embattled republican defenders evacuated the building.

The O’Rahilly was killed leading the first charge. As he lay dying in a shop doorway he wrote a last note to his wife:

‘Written after I was shot. Darling Nancy I was shot leading a rush up Moore Street and took refuge in a doorway. While I was there I heard the men pointing out where I was and made a bolt for the laneway I am in now. I got more [than] one bullet I think. Tons and tons of love dearie to you and the boys and to Nell and Anna. It was a good fight anyhow. Please deliver this to Nannie O' Rahilly, 40 Herbert Park, Dublin. Goodbye Darling.

Incidently 40 Herbert Park is not the subject of a similar debacle as that of Moore Street.

More of that in a moment.

The rest of the GPO garrison, O’Rahilly’s comrades, made their way to number 5 Moore Street – Dunne’s Butchers, and began tunnelling from house to house along the terrace.

The following morning they wrapped the wounded the James Connolly in blankets and with great difficulty carried him through the holes they had forced in the walls to number 16 – Plunkett’s, a poultry shop.

It was an agonising journey for Connolly.

In a small room Seán MacDiarmada, Pádraig Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, James Connolly and Tom Clarke discussed the limited options open to them, including the possibility of rushing the British Army barricade on Parnell Street.

Tom Clarke, who went to look at the situation, returned to tell his comrades that it could not succeed.

The leaders came to the reluctant conclusion that surrender was the only choice open to them to avoid further loss of civilian life.

Julia Grenan, Winifred Carney and Elizabeth O’Farrell had stayed throughout Easter week in the GPO.

O’Farrell was now tasked with the dangerous responsibility of going to the British lines.

She walked down Moore Street to the British barricade and was brought from there to Tom Clarke’s shop in Parnell Street where the British Army General William Lowe insisted that he would only accept unconditional surrender.

A short time later Pádraig Pearse, accompanied by Elizabeth O’Farrell, and wearing his military overcoat and hat, left the Moore Street headquarters of the Provisional government to meet the British General.

This meeting occurred on Parnell St opposite Moore St and close to where the Kingfisher Cafe now is.

In the original photograph taken of that meeting only Nurse O’Farrell’s feet can be seen and in many of the reproductions since then they were airbrushed out.

Another example of women being airbrushed out of our history.

Shortly after 4.30pm the republican garrison left their Moore Street HQ and marched to the Gresham Hotel where they were searched before being taken to the Green in front of the Rotunda Hospital in Parnell Street.

This then is Moore Street. A hugely important part of our history.

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