Man arrested over vandalism of The George

Man in his 20s detained after the Dublin gay bar was defaced with homophobic graffiti

 

A man in his 20s has been arrested for criminal damage following the vandalism of Dublin’s best-known gay bar, The George.

The man is being held at Pearse Street Garda station.

On Saturday, the manager of the establishment said the man responsible for the vandalism had been caught on CCTV footage.

The facade of the Dublin city centre bar was defaced with anti-gay slogans and a swastika in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The incident was caught on all three of the bar’s CCTV cameras. This footage will be handed over to gardaí investigating the offence.

The slogans, which were written using chalk, were removed by staff on Saturday morning at the premises.

This is the first incident of homophobic vandalism that has occurred at the popular bar since the same-sex marriage referendum passed two years ago, according to bar manager Darragh Flynn.

“Before the referendum, our windows at the front would get broken on a regular basis, but since the referendum that hasn’t happened,” said Mr Flynn.

“Things are getting better. It’s not an overnight change, it’s a gradual change, but I believe we are moving towards full acceptance. It will maybe take a generation but it’s getting better.”

While he said he was disgusted by the incident, Mr Flynn also said he had been overwhelmed with offers of support from local businesses and friends offering to clean the bar front.

“What really touches my heart is the support. We’ve had numerous local business that have offered to wash the front of the building and I’ve been getting text messages from people who aren’t even in the country offering to donate to the cleaning costs.

“I’ve had at least 10 offers from people to actually come in and paint the front and get rid of the graffiti, so that’s what I really want to focus on.”

‘No permanent damage’

The vandalism has caused no permanent damage to the bar’s facade and the chalk was easily removed by staff.

Mr Flynn said a number of cars could be seen on the CCTV footage passing by and stopping at the lights while the man was drawing the slogans, but no-one intervened.

The incident came only two days before the two-year anniversary of the same-sex marriage referendum, which was passed on May 22nd, 2015, by 62 per cent to 38 per cent.

“This is the home of the gay community in Ireland and it’s nice to reflect back on two years ago,” said Mr Flynn.

“It was truly a special day and it was an amazing feeling that will stay with me for the rest of my life, I’ll never forget how proud I was of being Irish that day.”