A new multi-million 1916 commemoration centre is to go ahead on Dublin’s Moore Street as design and engineering experts have now been appointed.
A series of contracts have been awarded by the Office of Public Works (OPW) that will allow work to proceed on the creation of the centre at numbers 14-17.
The contracts establishing a professional design team will mean that detailed planning and design for the new 1916 commemoration centre, which is set to cost over €16 million, can now proceed and is expected to be completed in early 2026 according to an OPW spokesperson.
This follows an eight-year delay after An Bord Pleanála approved the construction of the centre at the buildings which were declared a national monument in 2007.
The buildings, which were the rebel’s headquarters, were privately owned until the State bought them in 2015.
It had been planned that the centre would be opened to mark the 100-year commemorations of the Easter Rising, but those plans were impacted by relatives of the fighters who took legal action to extend national monument status to the majority of buildings on the east side of Moore Street. Several of the buildings were due to be demolished to make way for shopping centre plans.
In 2016, Mr Justice Max Barrett found in their favour and made orders suspending work on any of the buildings, including the commemorative centre. However, in 2018 the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling.
Patrick O’Donovan, Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works and the Gaeltacht said: “The OPW takes its responsibilities for managing many of Ireland’s most important historic sites and monuments very seriously, and we are delighted to have been entrusted with this job by the Government.
“Like everyone else involved, I feel sure that we can create a fitting tribute here to the men and women of 1916 and at the same time make a great contribution to the cultural and civic life of the inner city.”
A design team made up of conservation architects, mechanical and electrical engineers, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, fire engineers, and archaeologists has now been appointed and will lead on the design and planning of the new centre.
The centre will be in the four original buildings on the eastern side of Moore Street.
Once complete, the site will be opened to the public and people will be able to view the place where the final decision to surrender was taken in 1916 and hear the stories of the individuals involved, both combatants and ordinary citizens.
A detailed project scope has been set out for the designers, which is based on the agreed scheme through the Moore Street Advisory Group, a collection of interested parties, including groups representing families of some of the 1916 Volunteers and representatives of the local community in Dublin 1.
A Project Steering Group has been set up involving officials from the Department of Housing and the OPW to supervise the project and to provide the assurance of proper governance.
The project is being funded by the Exchequer and the companies appointed to the design team, include conservation architects Shaffrey Architects, mechanical and electrical engineers ARUP Structural Engineers and Barrett Mahony Consulting Engineers.
Andrew P Nugent & Associates along with DL Martin & Partners have been appointed as quantity surveyors, fire engineers are Michael Slattery Associates and archaeologists are Courtney Deery.
All relevant works will be carried out in accordance with Ministerial Consent granted by the Minister for Housing under section 14 of the National Monuments Act.
Sinn Féin Councillor Micheál MacDonncha has said he hopes it will have a positive impact on the area.
“What we want is a regenerated area with street traders, shop traders and the culture and heritage and history of the area fully recognised.”
Speaking to 98FM, local business owner Stephen Troy added that although the news is welcomed, the time taken to carry out the works has badly impacted business.
“We’ve witnessed the year-on-year impact on our trade on Moore Street. The dereliction there accounts for a lot of anti-social behaviour. It’s become a haven for pick-pocketing and that’s as a direct result of a poorly managed street. Funds have been allocated since 2016 for restoration.”