Eamonn Farrell/
St Stephen's Green

'It's only right': Standing down ceremony this Sunday for Hauntings Soldier that was vandalised

Minister Paul Kehoe confirmed today that there would be Defence Forces personnel and a piper in attendance.

A “STANDING DOWN” ceremony is to take place at St Stephen’s Green for the Hauntings Soldier statue in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, that was vandalised with red paint in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The statue was erected to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One. It’s been at the main entrance to the iconic Dublin city park since 4 November, and will be there until next Monday, 26 November.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline programme this afternoon, Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe said he was horrified by the vandalism at the statue.

He said: “It doesn’t deserve much time talking about the people who’ve done that. The lowest in society would carry on like that. 

As Minister I have decided we will have Defence Forces personnel and a piper available at the ceremony on Sunday. I think it’s only right and proper.

He said that the anniversary of Armistice Day was marked with respect all over Ireland a number of weeks ago, and that the people responsible for the vandalism represented a very small section of Irish society.

Staff from the Office of Public Works completed a clean-up of the sculpture yesterday. / YouTube

Sabina Purcell, who brought the sculpture to Ireland, told that “it doesn’t reflect us as an island. We’ve moved on from this”.

“I was absolutely devastated because there’s tremendous good will. Thousands of thousands have seen this every weekend coming from all over the island of Ireland 

Whoever did this, they’re not us. Dissenting voices are welcome but vandalism is just disgraceful.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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