Local Law Firm Achieves National Win

Published in North County Leader – 22nd March 2016
moore streetThe 1916 Relatives Group has secured a victory in the High Court and halted the destruction of the Moore Street battlefield site. The Relatives’ group was represented by Swords based solicitors, Hennessy Perrozzi, who described the decision as a ‘monumental day for Ireland’.
Speaking to the County Leader after the decision in favour of the relatives was made, John Hennessy of Hennessy Perozzi Solicitors said, “This is a wonderful result for the Relatives’ Group, which took me by surprise. There were three cases, including two planning decisions.” Hennessy spoke about how his involvement in this landmark case came about. “I was approached by the relatives’ group, in particular Jim Connolly Heron, who is the great grandson of executed leader, James Connolly and a few other people involved in the Save Moore Street 1916 campaign. This has been going on for years. Originally the State didn’t want to make any part of Moore Street, a national monument. A lot of campaigning was carried out by people like Jim Connolly Heron, and others who are mainly relatives of those involved in 1916, Number 16 Moore Street was where Padraig Pearse surrendered to the British Army. “In 2008, the Minister for Arts and Culture decided to make numbers 14 to 17 Moore Street, including number 16, a national monument. My clients’ position had always been that the entirety of Moore Street, as well as Moore Lane and Henry Place should be declared a Battlefield site. It is the last urban battlefield site in Europe and it should be saved, they repeatedly asked successive Ministers to consider this and each one refused, saying that it is not a battle site and that it doesn’t qualify as a national monument.
Hennessy continued, “I was approached when the political campaigned had failed and the legal angle was the only one left. I wrote a letter last October to the Minister and set out that my clients wanted the area from the GPO to Moore Street to be declared a Battlefield Site and I set out why,” said Hennessy. The Minister, Heather Humphries came back and said it was a moot point, but I asked her to look at the Interpretation Act 2005. We pointed out that the decision taken by the State regarding 14-17 Moore Street was unauthorised and we sought clarification. The case went on for four weeks. There were 40 affidavits exchanged and we finally got the decision we were looking for,” said a delighted Hennessy.
“The decision essentially found completely in favour of my client,” he said. “This is one the most significant planning decisions for national monuments in the history of the state on a par with the Wood Quay decision. The ramifications of this decision will be felt for many years to come. From a purely legal point of view, it has consequences for anyone who wants to challenge the State on its decisions. Secondly, it actually changes the face of Dublin city centre and makes history by changing the State’s original plan, which was to build a huge shopping centre here. In my view, it puts a completely different shape on what this area will look like in the future. It turns this type of planning decisions on it’s head. It’s an unbelievable and brilliant day for us all and I’m really proud to have been associated with it,” concluded an overjoyed Hennessy.
The decision has also been welcomed by Sinn Fein, whose spokesperson said, “Sinn Fein welcomes the decision and regrets that it took a private citizen to force the state to listen to the call of the relatives of those who fought and died in the 1916 Rising and the supporters of the campaign to have the street and its environs protected and restored as a fitting tribute to the courageous men and women who took to those streets in Easter Week 1916.”

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Hennessy & Perrozzi Solicitors • Burgundy House, Forster Way, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland
• Phone: 01-8901888 • Fax: 01-8901904 • DX: 91 012 SWORDS •
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