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Ballybough Pride of Place via Twitter

Dublin locals decry 17 advertising boards 'continually sending out messages' over 500m stretch

The group said that there is considerable potential in the Ballybough area, and that it just requires a little thought and care on the part of the local authority to bring it out

RESIDENTS IN BALLYBOUGH in Dublin have expressed their unhappiness over the volume of advertising signage present in the area compared to others in the city. 

Particular concerns have been raised over an advertisement hoarding covering over a railway bridge in the area. The Victorian-era crossing, built in 1898, is the area’s only protected structure.

A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann said that the previous advertisement has been taken down to make way for a new campaign. However, they said there are no plans to introduce new LED signage on the bridge, as some residents feared.

A local residents’ group, Ballybough Pride of Place (BPPoP), have been campaigning for the reduction of signage in the area, especially on public and protected structures.

The group’s chairperson, Frank Keohane, said that BPPoP are a small group that are committed to activities such as greening, cleaning, and litter picking in the Ballybough area. However, he said that they “work very hard to stand still”.

“There are a lot of things we can’t do alone, like improving social housing and dereliction, provision of services like the proposed new Lidl store, or reducing the vast amount of signage in the area” he said.

In a report produced by the group and presented to Dublin city councillor Ray McAdam, they counted 30 advertisement boards on roads in the area leading to the inner city.

This includes Ballybough Road with 17 boards over half a kilometre, and North Strand with ten over the same distance.

By contrast, roads in other areas, such as Drumcondra or Phibsborough, feature on average five boards.

“While billboards are something that one can pass by without taking any notice of them – the subliminal impacts are ever-present and they are continually sending out messages,” said the report.

Cllr McAdam, who sits as chair of Dublin City Council’s Planning & Urban Form Strategic Policy Committee, says he has engaged with the Planning Department on the matter.

“Our city streetscape can be so much better with a lot less useless signage and advertisement hoardings. I am determined to work with community groups in Ballybough and elsewhere to clean up Dublin and make it an even more attractive place to live and raise a family in,” he said.

The group said that there is considerable potential in the Ballybough area, and that it just requires a little thought and care on the part of the local authority to bring it out.

Programmes like those being carried out in other parts of the city, such as greening initiatives and urban forests would be welcome, they said, as would efforts around the bridge.

“The bridge at present is dark and uninviting, especially at night, but if it were well maintained, well lit, it would make a beautiful feature,” said Keohane.

Similarly, the area’s location as one of the main thoroughfares for visitors to Croke Park makes it especially important that issues like dereliction and overabundant signage be solved, he said.

“With people travelling in for matches, and upcoming concerts like the four dates that Coldplay have announced, Ballybough should act as a shop window for Dublin city, presenting an attractive face to draw people into the city.”

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