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Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
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Dublin City Council starts legal bid to remove 'Horseboy' and David Attenborough murals
The murals did not have permission of the city’s planning department.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has taken legal action over two prominent street art murals – including one celebrating the life of David Attenborough.

The murals, by artist collective Subset, were allegedly allowed by residents, but did not have permission of the city’s planning department which issued warnings and enforcement notices to have the paintings removed.

The council’s prosecution came before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court today. It was adjourned until 24 March next to set a hearing date and for compliance with an order for disclosure of evidence to the defence.

The Attenborough mural, which was painted last year on the side of a property in Portobello, was unveiled on the BBC documentary maker’s 93rd birthday.

It was on the gable wall of a house on South Circular Road facing onto Longwood Avenue in Dublin 8.

The council had ordered for it to be removed because no planning permission was obtained for the “unauthorised development”.

It also made the same order and commenced a prosecution in relation to another Subset street art mural, dubbed Horseboy, located just off Church Street, in Dublin 7.

The original photo of Horseboy was taken on Smithfield Square by Australian photographer James Horan and Subset recreated the picture on the gable end of a rented property.

A petition calling for it be allowed stay attracted over 2,500 signatures in two days.

In each case council planning enforcement officers who examined the artwork held they were developments that were not exempt from requiring planning permission.

This resulted in the enforcement notices – under Section 154 of the Planning and Developments Acts 2000 – for the removal of the artwork.

Subset have had a number of artworks removed from Dublin city walls, including the Stormzy mural in 2017.

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