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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Luke Kelly statue defaced for a second time in the space of seven months

Independent councillor Christy Burke slammed the vandalism as “mindless”.

A STATUE ERECTED in honour of singing legend Luke Kelly has been vandalised for a second time in seven months.

The statue, one of two placed in Dublin a year ago was designed by artist Vera Klute, was covered with black paint, in the shape of sunglasses, marks on his nose and cheek.

Officers are examining CCTV images from cameras located to the Luke Kelly park close to where the Dubliners singer grew up on Sheriff St in Dublin’s north inner city.

Independent councillor and former Lord Mayor Christy Burke following consultation Dublin City Council officials slammed the vandalism as “mindless”.

“I’m calling the individual who did to Luke Kelly’s statue to show some dignity and respect to his memory and to his family. Not only have you insulted them but you’ve done this to the whole community who treasure this statue.

“Shame on you. I’m calling on whoever did it to come back and clean it up. Luke always carried his community with him around the world. The locals are being tremendous through all of this yet again. Who in their right mind would go out on a stormy night to do such a thing.

“For over 20 years I fought hard to have this erected, I’m disgusted. The architect and Dublin City Council have been notified and will be done on the site during the night.”

It is understood that the incident occurred around 7.30pm.

Specialist cleaners and the artist have now managed to clean and restore the statue back to its original state.

Cllr Burke said: “The late great Luke Kelly’s statue being destroyed by thugs in an area where he was born and raised is just heartbreaking. It took years and years of work to have this public statue agreed and put in place. At least now we are able to clean it. It just makes me very angry to witness this type of destruction being carried out.

“How could anyone do such a thing? It’s just mindless destruction. Luke and his memory mean so much to so many people and this type of vandalism is so upsetting not only to me but to thousands of people.

“The community around here will pull together to not allow this to ever happen again. Hopefully the gardai will find out who did this.”

The statue was unveiled on the 35th anniversary of the 43-year-old singer’s death by President Michael D Higgins.

The work was commissioned by Dublin City Council in 2014 when Cllr Burke was elected as mayor. The statue which also cost €80,000 is a 1.8-metre-high marble bust, with copper wire used for Kelly’s trademark beard.

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Sarah Slater

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