Why Would Arlene Leave Fermanagh? | The second battle of Moore Street


Manage episode 289692020 series 2711022
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Why Would Arlene Leave Fermanagh?

Arlene Foster talks of leaving the North in the event of a Yes referendum vote for a United Ireland. “I cannot see how I could be British in Fermanagh, in a United Ireland, because by the very definition you are no longer British because you are living in an all-Ireland state.”

I see no reason for Arlene to leave Fermanagh. That will be her decision of course, not mine. But Fermanagh is her homeplace regardless of its future constitutional status. Why anyone who suffered during the conflict and survived as she has, would voluntarily leave such a beautiful peaceful place simply because it would be part of a United Ireland is worthy of deeper analysis. Maybe Arlene should elaborate?

The second battle of Moore Street

As you read this week’s column cast your mind back to Dublin 105 years ago. Pádraig Pearse and James Connolly had stood at the entrance of the GPO on Monday and issued the Proclamation of The Republic to the Irish People.

After five days of fierce fighting and with the GPO in Sackville St (now O’Connell St) in flames the Volunteers were forced on the Friday evening to evacuate that position. There was a British Army barricade at the top of the street where it joined with Parnell Street. The O Rahilly led a failed charge to break through into Parnell Street. Wounded he was to die against the side wall of 25 Moore Street after writing a last poignent letter to his wife. Carrying a wounded James Connolly, and under constant machine gun and sniper fire the GPO Garrison had made their way across Henry Street to Number 10 Moore Street. They broke through the outside wall of Number 10 and began tunnelling their way up through the terrace of houses.

The next morning – Saturday - five of the signatories to the Proclamation – Pádraig Pearse, Seán Mac Diarmada, Tom Clarke, James Connolly and Joseph Plunkett met in Number 16. There they discussed their next steps. Surrounded on all sides by British forces; with no prospect of success and concerned about the ongoing risk to civilians, the leaders reluctantly decided to surrender.

Decades later Moore Street and the lanes surrounding it – The Battlefield Site - stand alongside national monuments in other states around the world where the right to independence and freedom was fought for. It is, as the National Museum of Ireland has described: “The most important site in modern Irish history.”

Regrettably, successive Dublin governments have taken a different view preferring to back private developers whose plans would see the destruction of much of this iconic area.

Currently a second battle of Moore Street is taking place. A company called Hammerson is about to lodge planning permission for a development that would ruin the Battlefield Site if it is given the go-ahead.

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