Limerick’s iconic ‘eye-pop’ mural is here to stay, says owner of site

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Welcome: Metropolitan mayor, Cllr Daniel Butler Picture: Michael Cowhey

Welcome: Metropolitan mayor, Cllr Daniel Butler Picture: Michael Cowhey

THE man who owns the building which is home to a controversial mural has confirmed it is going nowhere.

John Fitzgerald owns the building in Castle Lane where the ‘eyepop mural’ is based.

Unveiled in 2013, the artwork has returned to public attention in recent weeks after a graffiti vandal targetted it.

It sparked a debate on the future of the painting, with former metropolitan mayor Cllr Michael Sheahan leading calls for its removal and replacement with something of more historical value.

It is something that his Fine Gael colleague Cllr Daniel Butler, the incumbent metropolitan mayor rejected.

The metro mayor has been in contact with Mr Fitzgerald, who said the mural is here to stay – and in fact, he plans to light it up in the dark winter months giving it yet more prominence.​

“It’s an iconic mural,” the building owner told the Limerick Leader, “The amount of people who come to the site taking selfies is just incredible. Also, we had a great response from the Civic Trust who wanted to see us maintain it.”

A plaque will also be put in place giving a history of the piece by the well-regarded Glasgow artist Smug.

Cllr Butler said after speaking to Mr Fitzgerald by telephone: “I’m delighted by this. I actually thanked him. It’s brilliant. It’s become an iconic tourist destination. People are getting their pictures taken beside it. Any way to enhance it, needs to be welcomes.”

“There are not many places where you’ll see tourists regularly stopping and getting a selfie taken. John was telling me he sees people on a regular basis, and they are always asking him what the story is behind it. This is why they are anxious to maintain it, and provide information around it,” the metropolitan mayor added.

Cllr Sheahan had argued that the paintwork was falling off the wall – and this is why it needed to be replaced.

He was supported by Sinn Fein councillor John Costelloe.