1916 Battlefields Saved

Fianna Eireann

Image copyright Julie Corcoran Photography, 2016.

Today, in the Irish High Court, Mr Justice Max Barrett passed judgement in favour of the case made by the 1916 Relatives Association with support from a new generation of Irish volunteers.  This judgement, against the position of the government, will protect important 1916 battle sites beside the GPO around Moore Street from demolition.

Sadly a proportion of 1916 battlefield sites were deemed unimportant by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphries and her government. Now the High Court has ordered that she must reconsider her position.

You can read the full story here from the Irish Times including a synopsis of the 400 page judgement by Mr Justice Max Barrett.

Respecting the architects of 1916 – updated


Archive image of P. H. Pearse in 1916. Inspiration for the street art on Moore Street.

In the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, a piece of street art has appeared on plywood hoarding surrounding a terrace of red brick buildings used by rebels during the rising on Moore Street, just around the corner from Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Some of the houses are in immediate danger of demolition and a Save Moore Street campaign was born out of the government’s lack of vision in preserving such a historically significant landmark in its entirety.

The piece is a re-imagining a famous photograph from the era. It depicts Patrick Pearse surrendering to two figures (originally British soldiers) dressed in high viz jackets and hard hats (now representing developers). It is a clever concept with a strong message and up to this point I like it.

But, and here’s the thing, look to the right of the image and it is signed Banksy. It is not a Banksy (I contacted his PR agent Jo Brooks who confirmed this to me categorically), therefore, with the Banksy tag the image becomes a forgery. It immediately disappoints. I love and have a reverence for the arts on par with the love I have for my culture.

Without the Banksy tag, the piece would simply be regarded as ‘in the style of’ Banksy. Therefore respecting Banksy and his amazing body of work and also respecting the actual artist of the piece.

But would the media have picked up on it? Probably not.

The Save Moore Street campaign is getting attention in the media today (with the ‘is it or is it not a Banksy’ narrative).

But I believe, long term, it is to the detriment of the artists involved; who I believe, deserve a little bit more respect.

Save Moore Street Campaign  1

Artists                                            0


Irish Times article with Jo Brooks confirmation that the piece is NOT by Banksy. 

‘The Commandments of the Respectable’ Padraic Mac Piarais


Pádraig had a sense of humour which is evident in his addition to the ten commandments relating to middle class ‘respectable’ Dublin society which he abhorred, the following appeared in ‘An Macaomh’, 1913;

“1. Thou shalt not be extreme in anything – in wrong doing lest thou be put in gaol, in right doing lest thou be deemed a saint

2. Thou shalt not give away thy substance lest thou become a pauper

3. Thou shalt not engage in trade or manufacture lest thy hands become grimy

4. Thou shalt not carry a brown paper parcel lest thou shock Rathgar

5. Thou shalt not have an enthusiasm lest solicitors and their clerks call thee a fool

6. Thou shalt not endanger thy job