‘Cultural vandalism’: Limerick's Eyepop mural removed

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

‘Cultural vandalism’: Limerick's Eyepop mural removed

The eyepop mural was painted over this Friday lunchtime PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER

THE well-known Eyepop mural opposite King John’s Castle has been removed this lunchtime in a move described as “cultural vandalism”.

Metropolitan mayor Daniel Butler and Catherine O’Halloran, of arts company Draw Out have been in talks with the owner of the building to have the controversial piece of art covered up after he said vandalism rendered it beyond repair, and also fading.

After talks were held with the co-owner of the building, Niall Moynihan, Cllr Butler donated €1,000 of his own General Municipal Allocation allowance to allow the covering to take place.

“After it was vandalised, we had someone come down take a look at it and see what repairs were done. You can’t repair the damage done, and the drawing itself was fading. Catherine O’Halloran of Draw Out met with the owner of the building and consulted with them,” he said.

“The reality is the piece could not be repaired. So I secured funding to the cost of covering it, and Catherine came up to try and replace it as a starting point,” he told the Limerick Leader.

The painters came from Limerick City Build, while Draw Out will design the new mural, working together with some of the leading artists in the urban arts scene to deliver a progressive, lively and equally beloved piece of art that can fit nicely into its historical surroundings.

But there has been criticism of the covering the mural, designed by well-regarded Glasgow artist Smug.

Independent councillor John Loftus, who was on the scene, said: “This is just cultural vandalism. It was a very well done piece of art. Some people didn’t like it, I know it’s been defaced before. But painting it over with a bucket of magnolia is just ignorance. It’s made it look horrible.”

Larry O’Sullivan, who lives in Nicholas Street, added: “I was shocked to see it happen. Walking back up, you’d just shake your head. I thought the sculpture was great altogether. All the tourists take pictures of it. If it wasn’t worth looking at, they wouldn’t take pictures!”

But some councillors were happy to see the back of the mural.

Independent member Frankie Daly said: “I don’t think it fits in with the cultural fabric of the area. As a mural, it is out of sync. As a mural, it’s fantastic, but I don’t think it fits in with the fabric of the medieval quarter.”

But Cllr Butler defended the action, saying: “Ideally, we would have loved for it to remain. Repairs were done previously, but this time where the vandalism was, it made it impossible to repair. Art evolves, spaces evolve, this is a new opportunity to reimagine this wall space.”