LIMERICK City Council has identified two locations for ‘zones’ where graffiti artists can spray to their heart’s content.
Senior executive officer Paul Foley has confirmed two locations, both in the heart of the city, have been identified - and an official announcement is just weeks away.
He declined to say where the areas are, but said that the environment department have reached the decision with the help of “a representative group of street artists” and the City Art Gallery.
While many observers may feel this has come about due to the increase in illegal tagging across the city, it is in fact part of the Development Plan, set in 2010.
The council has teamed up with artists behind July’s Make a Move festival.
This brought more than 40 different street artists around the country to the People’s Park with the festival intended to celebrate Hip Hop Culture in the city centre.
Mr Foley said derelict sites would be considered for a zone for artists to use, saying: “We are challenged at present to be as innovative as possible and the street art concept if properly managed has the potential to improve the facade of some derelict sites in the city.”
Mr Foley confirmed the fight against illegal graffiti vandals goes on.
“This is illegal and unauthorised and is being addressed by the City Council and the Gardai. We had two people up in court last Friday who were given a fine for the application of graffiti. A number of others in the pipeline,” he confirmed.
He said that any street art area would be home to “very high quality” forms of graffiti.
“By having something structured and organised involving the expertise of the City art gallery, and students of the College of Art and Design, we are aiming to give some outlet for this street art to be accommodated,” Mr Foley explained.
Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea, who wrote to Mr Foley on the matter, praised City Hall for its “sensible approach”.
“Obviously, finding a suitable location is crucial in this. But I have every confidence the council will choose the best location,” he concluded.
Limerick City Council has spent more than €18,000 in cleaning graffiti this year, and it is hoped these legal graffiti zones will go some way to easing the problem.
Many graffiti vandals have targeted shop shutters after closing time.