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Irish Left Review
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Spirit of Contradiction

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An Taisce call for birthplace site of Abbey Theatre and Fianna to compulsory purchased following fire

category dublin | miscellaneous | news report author Wednesday May 09, 2012 14:52author by Mystery Monk Report this post to the editors

The site of the birthplace of the Abbey Theatre and separately the Fianna in Dublin's Camden Street needs to be bought by CPO following fire, An Taisce say.

The loss by fire of 34 Camden Street in Dublin has massively damaged a site that was the birthplace of both the Abbey Theatre and the Fianna - a terraced early Georgian house with all the criteria befitting a National Monument, An Taisce have said.

According to the charity, The destruction of such a historic and culturally significant place resents a serious threat to Dublin's continued status as a UNESCO City of Literature - a status shared by only 3 other cities, and monitored continually. Heritage tourism is of increasingly essential importance to Ireland's economy.

The building was well documented for Abbey productions at the time of the National Theatres founding, including W.B. Yeat's "A Pot of Broth" (1902 as referenced on the Abbeys website), and plays involving Maud Gonne, Lady Gregory, and the Fay brothers.

In August 1909, the Fianna was founded here by Countess Markievicz, Bulmer Hobson, and others - with the building being used as a key training base before Easter 1916 by Con Colbert, who was subsequently executed - and after whom roads and the Limerick railway station is named.

An Taisce are now asserting that the site must be understood as a National Monument, and is of comparable importance to 16 Moore Street, Dublin 1.

An Taisce also note that Dublin City Council recently refused an application for major alterations to the building so that it could become a slot machine arcade, as an extension of an existing adjacent business.

A spokesperson siad "This site qualifies as a National Monument under several criteria, and is of far too great significance to be left demolished - where the only vision for the birthplace of the nation's cultural renaissance is of a slot machine hall".

An Taisce is now seeking to persuade the State to buy the site under a compulsory purchase order, declare it a National Monument, reinstate the building, and list adjacent Georgian buildings on the Record of Protected Structures.

Interested members of the public and groups can join the campaign at CamdenStreetAlliance@gmail.com

author by Dude boypublication date Wed May 09, 2012 16:05Report this post to the editors

Can't believe that house is gone - there was a little plaque on the building which you can still see on Google streetview. A real loss : (

Does anyone know how the fire started? Harcourt Street Garda HQ abuts the site at the rear, so it must be under surveillance at least in part...

 
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