More than 15,000 sign petition to keep George’s Street mural

Cllr Mannix Flynn says mural supporting same-sex marriage ‘unauthorised’

A giant drawing by artist Joe Caslin has been papered to a large wall on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street. Caslin hopes the piece will get people talking ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

More than 15,000 people have signed a petition calling for a mural supporting same sex marriage not to be removed from the side of a Dublin building.

“We are asking that Dublin City Council do NOT buckle to the pressure, and allow the mural to stand high and proud on South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2,” the online petition reads.

Planning officials in Dublin City Council have issued a warning notice confirming the unauthorised status of a contentious mural on the side of a building on South Great George’s Street.

The image of two men embracing was created by artist Joe Caslin who said it was attached “like wallpaper” to the side of the four storey building overnight.

However, because of its perceived links to the Yes campaign in the forthcoming referendum on same sex marriage, a debate ensued as to whether it required planning permission and whether it should be removed.

When a claim of a “Section 152” warning letter being issued was made on Twitter on Tuesday (yesterday) the divisive subject continued to prompt argument with accusations of “pettiness” in having the mural removed countered with the view planning regulations should be “applied equally”.

Dublin City Council was not immediately contactable for comment last night. However, confirming the issuing of the warning notice, local councillor Mannix Flynn said it was purely a planning matter.

He said regardless of any moral issue or debate on the image’s quality or message, regulations must be enforced.

“It’s the equivalent of having an ad on the building; it’s unauthorised and constitutes a breach of the planning act,” he said.

It is understood the public debate surrounding the mural was accompanied by complaints to Dublin City Council.

However, Mr Flynn said that with an option to apply for retention, the artwork may not be going anywhere just yet.

“It could take the guts of three months for this to be dealt with because of due process,” he said.

With a month to go before the referendum, Mr Caslin said recently he would like to see the work remain until the vote, and possibly shortly afterwards.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Liveline programme, he explained the piece was based on a drawing which was then printed up and applied “kind of like wallpaper but on a massive scale”.

Taking it down, he said, is a matter of soaking it over a half hour period and washing it off with a hose.