Anger and frustration over Limerick’s graffiti scourge

Nick Rabbitts and An

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts and An

LIMERICK City Council is urging retailers or members of the public to report andy incidents of vandalism to the council, or gardai, so they can “identify culprits and target resources at the issue.”

LIMERICK City Council is urging retailers or members of the public to report andy incidents of vandalism to the council, or gardai, so they can “identify culprits and target resources at the issue.”

Director of Service, Caroline Curley made her comments following an upsurge in graffiti tags on businesses and private properties in the city centre.

Although the graffiti scourge is not as recognisable by day, come the evening time, a large number of shutters are daubed with offensive looking ‘tags’.

Limerick Leader photographer Michael Cowhey captured a small selection of city centre shopfronts on a walk around the city earlier this week.

Limerick City Council environmental chief Caroline Curley has moved to assure the public that they, and the Gardai are working hard to identify the culprits with a view to pressing charges.

In a bid to accommodate those who want to engage in graffiti art, Ms Curley said the council is looking at creating ‘street art boards’ in the city centre.

But, she warned: “What I would discourage is the creation of the impression that it is the state that should provide. These people are knowingly vandalising other people’s property.”

Chairperson of the Limerick City Business Association Helen O’Donnell believes that providing facilities like this would not work anyway.

“Anonymity is a part of the whole graffiti story. They do not want to be told they can paint in one place, and nowhere else. I think we have to work with them because people do not understand graffiti,” she said.

Eleanor O’Brien, from Irwin’s Jewellers in William Street, and a fellow member of the business association, agrees that a dedicated graffiti wall is not the answer - because vandals will attack any blank wall or surface, regardless of whether it is regulated.

She added: “I haven’t complained to the council because I don’t think they’ll do anything, because it’s private property. Graffiti does bother me, it’s not nice, but it is all over Europe. It’s part of the culture.”

The City Business Association, Ms O’Donnell added, have been trying to help businesses, but she says it is a “frustrating, disconcerting” exercise, because there are so many more issues the lobby group could be tackling.

“What people are doing on shop fronts is not to be called graffiti - it does graffiti a disservice. Graffiti is an art form, and this is not graffiti,” she explained.

Mansoor Khalid, who owns three shops in William Street (Adeela, Xpose and Euro City) spent three hours cleaning the spray-paint from his walls on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s just ridiculous at this stage and very annoying. It looks very bad. We’re in business here 30 years and we’ve never had this kind of problem before. It has really gotten worse in the past month. We have talked to gardai about finding out who’s doing this, and they said they would contact us but we’re heard nothing,” he told the Limerick Leader.

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