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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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Anti-graffiti campaign tells kids not to 'damage their futures by damaging property'

Dublin City Council is launching a new campaign – aimed at school children – to highlight that tagging is not cool… and illegal.

Updated 1.13pm

Source: DublinCityCouncil/YouTube

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has launched a campaign aimed at getting the message to young people that graffiti is not cool – and they could face criminal prosecution if they are caught tagging.

The ‘Think Don’t Tag’ campaign, which is being run in partnership with An Garda Síochána, was launched at the Mansion House in Dublin later this morning with an animated video to raise awareness among school children.

“Unfortunately, there seems to be  a trend that some people think it’s cool to actually go out and destroy the face of our city, to destroy the face of your city,” Lord Mayor told the audience today.

Speaking at the launch, Garda Inspector Liam Geraghty described graffiti as “criminal damage and vandalism”.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, and in An Garda Síochána we’re not art critics by any means, but the questions we would ask those groups and ask the lads round the table here: is tagging the graffiti something that you would be happy to have on the front of your house or on you garden wall?

He reminded 6th class students from St Mary’s Boys School on Haddington Road who attended the launch that if they were caught and convicted, they could face time in prison or a fine of up to €2,000.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Dublin City Council’s Brian Hanney  said part of the message for young people is that tagging is against the law and could land them in big trouble.

“If you’re convicted in the district court for graffiti or tagging, that could impact on things like future travel arrangements. We want to make it clear that tagging is not cool – it has an impact.”

Hanney said it costs an estimated €1 million to deal with the issue each year.

“That’s money that could be better spent elsewhere.

“It’s everywhere,” he said.

You’d wake up and come into the city on a Monday morning after the weekend and there would be whole streets and businesses with tags all over them. It can have quite an impact from the business and tourism point of view.

“Some of it can be quite offensive and have political undertones so it has to be removed quickly,” he said, adding that this can be “very upsetting” for property owners.

“It has a big effect on the city, especially when you look at protected buildings, it’s very expensive to remove graffiti from them, say on the GPO or the Ha’penny Bridge.”

The message in the video hit home for the 6th class students from St Mary’s School. 11-year-old Dylan Lawlor said: “It shows that if you do graffiti now, it could have bad consequences as you’re growing up, so if you do get a job you may not get a very good job.”

“I thought it wasn’t that big a deal, but it does cost a lot of money, and as the mayor said, that money could go to other places like for new parks, playgrounds or stuff that we really need, instead of people destroying the city,” Jordan Behan (12), said.

The video launched today will be played in cinemas around Dublin over the next six weeks and will also be shown in Croke Park this weekend. 

Read: How this Dublin suburb managed to become the cleanest area in Ireland>

Read: ‘I know there are a dwindling band of fanatics out there’: TD hits out after his office was vandalised>

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