Minister for Heritage Refuses to answer Questions on the Demolition of the House of the O’Rahilly
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has expressed disbelief at the response from the Minister for Housing and Heritage Darragh O’Brien that he bears no official responsibility for the investigation into the illegal demolition of the O’Rahilly House.
An Teachta Tóibín:
“In the wake of the act of vandalism and destruction when developers illegally destroyed the home of revolutionary hero the O’Rahilly, I submitted a question to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien to see whether an investigation was being carried out in relation to it’s destruction. I expected that the Minister would have initiated an investigation given the importance of the House as a key site of Irish History and Heritage. But also given the Taoiseach had responded to a question of mine in the Dáil by saying “I think given the significance of The O’Rahilly in terms of the War of Independence and his historic significance, I think yesterday bringing it down…to destroy the building is absolutely shocking”.
“Also given that I had raised the precarious future of the House before it was demolished with the Minister myself I also questioned the Minister as to what actions he took to protect the National Monument and what were his plans to see it rebuilt”.
“Shockingly the Minister refused to answer the question. I was informed that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has no official responsibility for an investigation into the destruction of the O’Rahilly’s home. This is the epitome of the “no responsibility approach” of this government, where questions of responsibility are met with redirection and disclaimers. How is it that the illegal destruction of a National Monument by developers does not come under the remit of the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage? The National Monument Act specifically stipulates that the Minister has the power to protect a National Monument. It states Where it appears to the Minister, on a report made by the Advisory Council or otherwise, that a monument which in his opinion is a national monument is in danger of being or is actually being destroyed, injured, or removed, or is falling into decay through neglect, the Minister may by order entrust the preservation of such monument to the Commissioners’. The Minister was derelict in his duties under this Act to the Nation and has failed to pick up the pieces since.”
“The fact that Moore St Battlefields Site, the birthplace of the nation, is a rundown centre for drinking, defecation and drugs and the home of the O’Rahilly is in rubble is proof that the culture of the greasy till is still alive and well in Ireland.