A TALENTED city centre artist has vowed to clean up a piece of public art which has been damaged by vandals.
Kate Hennessy, of Naughton’s Place, painted a mural showing portraits of seven prominent Limerick women, having been asked to do so by the local residents association.
Women featured include former mayor Frances Condell, Lola Montez and writer Kate O’Brien.
It was unveiled outside former councillor Win Harrington’s home in Clontarf Place.
But a heartless vandal has splashed black tar-based paint over the piece of work.
Kate says she has been left devastated by the attack, and said the vandal must be a “very sad and unhappy” person to do this.
“Nobody saw anybody do it. But paint was thrown deliberately very high,” she said, “I am disappointed, because I put a lot of work into it. I spent three weeks doing it for no pay. It was all voluntary. It is a very sad and unhappy person who would destroy and artists work.”
Kate - who has a studio in the former Franciscan’s Church in Henry Street, and has exhibited across Ireland - does not believe the damage is the work of a graffiti artists.
This, she says, is because “they don’t destroy private property, they don’t destroy people’s homes, and they do not destroy other people’s art.”
“Whether it is directed at me, or the community, I don’t know,” she said.
The Limerick South City Residents Association, who commissioned the work, will take the mural down in the next two weeks, before Kate gets to work on cleaning it up.
“I will restore it, and put it back up again. Maybe we will have to coat it in plastic, or something. But I will restore it, and it will go back up,” she insisted.
Eugene Ryan, St Joseph Street, who chairs the residents association, said the incident will not deter then from the good work they are doing.
The group has already repainted dozens of walls in the O’Connell Avenue area, as well as staging regular clean-ups, and erecting historical panels.
“We are disappointed it happened. But it is not deterring us in any way. We will just carry on. We didn’t expect it to be plain sailing,” he said.