Up the Dubs banners may have to come down, says city council

GAA partisan plastic ‘completely inappropriate’ for eye-catching Ha’penny Bridge

The practice of draping enormous "Up the Dubs" banners on both sides of the Ha'penny Bridge by Dublin City Council for weeks before and after the county's GAA team reaches a final is to be reviewed.

The banners, which obscure virtually all of the railings on one of the city’s best-known landmarks, appeared again in the days before Dublin’s league final against Galway on April 1st and were still in place yesterday, more than a week after the team’s triumph.

The obscuring of the bridge with partisan plastic has been condemned by Dublin Civic Trust as "completely inappropriate". In a tweet the charitable organisation, which works to protect the city's architectural heritage, described the bridge as "an iconic historic (and protected) structure" that "should not be concealed, never mind defaced, with any form of banner or promotional material".

Dublin City Council has been putting such banners on the bridge every time Dublin have been in a final since 2011. It also puts up considerably more discrete Liffeyside flags promoting both finalists.

A council spokeswoman defended the Ha’penny Bridge banners, pointing out they “only appeared if Dublin are in a final – which has, admittedly, been a more frequent occurrence in the last few years”. She said Dublin City Council “endeavours to promote all positive sporting, community and cultural initiatives that take place in the city, particularly one that engages local communities, and occasionally uses city assets to achieve this”.

The spokeswoman said the banner "is normally scheduled to come down directly after the final concerned". A statement released to The Irish Times on Friday suggested it had been removed, although it was still in place more than 48 hours later.

The council statement concluded by saying it would “review the use of the Ha’penny Bridge for this purpose” in the weeks ahead.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast