Murals damaged in mystery attacks on graffiti in Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

AN unknown person is seeking to rid the city of graffiti, but has allegedly damaged legitimate murals in the process.

AN unknown person is seeking to rid the city of graffiti, but has allegedly damaged legitimate murals in the process.

Mystery surrounds the identity of a vigilante who has taken to covering murals with grey paint and has angered the city’s graffiti artists in the process.

The culprit, allegedly a young city businessman, has twice attacked the work of legitimate graffiti artists in areas where they had permission to daub their murals, the so-called ‘Graffiti Spot’ on the Dock Road and in the Skatepark near Mount Kennett.

It has been claimed that the work of twenty artists, who had travelled from all over Ireland and further afield to take part in a so-called Graffiti Jam, organised by local artists over the St Patrick’s weekend, has been destroyed, including that of American Navajo Indian artist Adam Closer.

“That somebody would take it upon himself to destroy such valuable work at a location which has become accepted as the home of graffiti art in the city and where the work is tolerated, is unacceptable,” said Councillor Tom Shortt, who contacted this newspaper about the incidents.

“This has caused great upset amongst the community of young Limerick artists,” he added.

Cllr Shortt said he was aware aware who was behind the attacks on the murals, and has provided a senior official in City Hall with the information.

“We have secured a commitment from him that he will bring his campaign to an end and not destroy that art work in the future,” explained Cllr Shortt.

The incidents are believed to be linked to a Facebook page set up over 12 months ago called ‘Limerick Against Graffiti’.

The site claims not to be against art, rather seeks to “respond to mindless tagging and vandalism in the city”.

“It’s up to people who complain about the spot being painted to stop the people tagging... We’re happy to leave art in the spot once city left alone,” reads one post on the site.

Cllr Shortt is keen to differentiate between “irresponsible outbreaks of tagging” and legitimate graffiti, which create “spectacular works of public art”, he added.