“100 years ago, Dublin quaked and trembled, under the bullets and shells of an empire. As ordinary Irish men and women risked life, limb, death, and incarceration, not only to free Ireland from foreign rule, but to build a nation of equals; an Ireland to be proud of, a country to be defined by the high ideals of the Proclamation.
“And how little this government thinks of these men and women and what they went through. We can look at 1916 through the mists of time, even through rose tinted glasses, and romanticise their struggle. How easy it is to forget how real it was for them. How real their suffering was, how real the despair was for them, facing into an uncertain future, and then the horror of the drawn out.
“They thought not of themselves. Their actions were unselfish. And today it is the actions of ordinary unselfish people who are fighting to preserve their legacy. It was people power saved Kilmainham Gaol for the nation, it wasn’t any government that saved that national edifice, a dedicated group of citizens saved this historical building for the nation.
“And it seems that it rests once again with people power to repeat history and to save for the nation for future generations the 1916 historic revolutionary quarter of the GPO/Moore Street area.
“An area that should rightfully be designated a national monument, an area that should rightfully be preserved and developed under the protection of the state. It should not be left to the vagaries of developers or speculators, whose only interest is in their profit margin.
“How can we leave our heritage to profiteers?”