‘Artists’ face five months in jail over graffiti ‘tagging’

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

The four defendants - Jonathan Noonan, Ian Hopkins, Nathan Murray and Ruairi Fogarty - are due back before the court
TWO graffiti artists have been until the end of this month to clean up their work at the Frank McCourt museum in the city - or face five months in prison, Judge Eugene O’Kelly has warned.

TWO graffiti artists have been until the end of this month to clean up their work at the Frank McCourt museum in the city - or face five months in prison, Judge Eugene O’Kelly has warned.

Limerick District Court heard that two of the four graffiti artists, who were ordered last month to clean up their work at the museum on Hartstonge Street, have complied with the orders.

Una Heaton, owner of the museum, said walls at the listed building would cost up to €4,500 to remove professionally, and she stressed to the court the importance of the clean-up, as the Angela’s Ashes musical will be staged in the city for the first time this week. The court heard that the work of Jonathan Noonan, 19, Upper Cecil Street, and Ruairi Fogarty, aged 19, Drominbeg, Rhebogue, has been more “sporadic” than their fellow counterparts before the court, Nathan Murray, 19, of Mahon House, Upper William Street, and Ian Hopkins, 21, of Kildooms, Clonlara.

They all admitted offences of defacing property, however Mr Murray and Mr Hopkins were allowed leave court on a further remand this Wednesday to have their cases heard again in October. But Mr Noonan and Mr Fogarty spent up to four hours in the cells of the district court when the judge heard they hadn’t given as much attention to the work as others.

Inspector Dermot O’Connor told the court that Mr Fogarty turned up to the museum “two or three times since court but hasn’t been seen since”, according to a report he received from Ms Heaton.

Solicitor Ted McCarthy said his client apologises that he hasn’t done more to restore the museum to its former condition, but said he lost his job in a fast-food outlet as a result of this case and has since moved back to Thurles.

Mr McCarthy said his client hasn’t been in a position to return to the city too often, and his mother, who was in court, was under the impression that he had “done what was required of him”. Judge O’Kelly said this was not the case, citing that numerous other buildings in the city have to be cleaned after the museum, including St Michael’s rowing club.

Mr McCarthy said “being in the cells today has left an indelible effect on him”.

Judge O’Kelly said he wants to see a “positive and glowing report” on both parties by July 31, and they have been remanded on continuing bail until that date. Solicitor Darach McCarthy said he was surprised to hear this report about his client, Mr Noonan, as he attended the museum “each and every single day, apart from the last two.”