GRAFFITI which has blighted Limerick city businesses could soon be a thing of the past after the council agreed to remove it from shop-fronts.
Following a campaign by the Limerick Leader to blitz the graffiti in the city, the council is to remove the markings from dozens of shop shutters across the urban centre.
Although it is legally the responsibility of the shop-owners to clean-up the graffiti, economic director Tom Enright has said the local authority will sponsor a ‘one-off blitz’ in some of the worst affected parts of the city.
In the next week, council cleaners will focus on shop-fronts in Cruises Street, Catherine Street and William Street - and Paul Foley, of the council’s economic development department, said they will use materials which will make it tougher to vandalise shop-shutters in future.
In a letter to traders, Mr Enright wrote: “While the responsibility for removing graffiti and tags is a private matter, we are aware that these areas have been subject to extensive vandalism, and it is hoped that this once-off gesture will encourage business owners in combatting graffiti.”
On top of this, the local authority will also give a face-lift to many of the utility cabinets owned by cable firm UPC on Catherine Street.
Limerick City Gallery of Art will apply “artistic, eye-catching features” to the grey, and often graffiti-ridden junction boxes.
The council is embarking on a “proactive programme of derelict site enforcements” which it is hoped will improve the appearance of the city centre.
“A visual audit of the city centre has been carried out, and staff are now in daily contact with owners, regarding essential works, painting premises, repairing windows, removing weeds and signs of general dereliction,” Mr Enright wrote.
Mr Foley said the idea for the clean-up came from discussions with the City Business Association, the Limerick Chamber, the Tidy Towns, and City Hall’s environmental staff.
“We want to innovate, we want to help improve the detail offering in Limerick City, and hopefully traders will recognise it as an attempt by us to help them,” Mr Foley said, “The important message is we want to help with the continuing improvement of the city.”
Mr Foley confirmed that the council is taking action against some people who applied the graffiti.
Council has already issued 40 on-the-spot €150 fines. If these are not paid, the offenders will be brought to court.