A MAJOR clean-up of graffiti in the city swung into action in Catherine Street this Wednesday morning.
Limerick City Council has agreed to remove the vandalism which has blighted shop fronts across the city on a once-off basis.
Although it is legally the responsibility of shop-owners to clean up, in order to give city businesses a boost, it was agreed this would take place in shops in Catherine Street, Cruises Street, and William Street.
Catherine Street trader Mike O’Connell, of O’Connell’s Menswear, had the pleasure of seeing his shutters cleaned first.
He welcomed the move, saying: “It is terrible that this [graffiti] is being done to businesses in this city.” Gesturing at graffiti on nearby shops, he said: “If you were on the streets last week, you would have seen that was not there, and neither was that. It is happening on a regular basis – but I think it is a great initiative from the council to want to help the retailers clean up.”
Brian Walsh, owner of Granville Park firm Busy Bzz, which has won the contract to carry out the cleaning, said the works will go on for the next week – weather permitting.
He is using a variety of different materials in a bid to ensure the graffiti on shop fronts is gone for good: “There are many different tags, so there are many different types of materials which we can use. It all depends on the paints the tagmasters use. If it is a water-based paint, we can use steam and high-pressured water to paint over. We will use mild chemicals and graffiti removals,” he explained.
Mr Walsh said he has received a great reaction so far to the work he is doing.
“Everyone is delighted, all the shop owners are delighted. It is terrible for tourists to see,” he said.
Mr O’Connell called on the council, the retailers and the public to all come together to ensure the city improves:
“This is a great city, but we need to continue to drive it forward. One group are the retailers - they need to put in a bigger effort, and step up to the mark. When someone comes in, they have to leave feeling as if they have been treated very well,” he concluded.