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Dublin: 16°C Friday 27 May 2022

Smithfield's landmark 'Horseboy' mural should be removed, council orders

Artist collective Subset had launched a petition aimed at saving the Horseboy mural.

Image: Google Street View

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has issued an enforcement notice on a mural in Dublin’s Smithfield area which has been at the centre of a recent planning dispute.

The Horseboy mural is located just off Church Street in Dublin 7. A case was referred to An Bord Pleanála earlier this month after the council had ruled the mural needed planning permission or else it would be removed.

The tenant at the house, which has the mural on the side of it, made an application to the council in June that the painting should be considered “exempted development” and allowed to remain. 

A previous arrangement had granted leave for the mural to remain up until 1 April 2018, and the owner of the property told the council to remove the painting on a number of occasions. 

Dublin City Council, however, found that the mural does require planning permission, and therefore it cannot be considered exempt under existing laws. 

Following an article in TheJournal.ie earlier this month, artist collective Subset launched a petition aimed at saving the Horseboy mural.

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

The petition gained over 2,500 signatures in two days. However, an appeal to An Bord Pleanála has since been withdrawn and an enforcement order issued by the council.

Typically when an enforcement notice is issued the council allows a certain period for the work to be removed before resorting to legal proceedings. 

A spokesperson for Subset declined to comment on the An Bord Pleanála appeal withdrawal. 

With reporting from Sean Murray

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