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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 16 November, 2018
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Mayo developer erects statue in London city as a form of protest

The man who has become known for his high-profile protests has taken to the streets of London.

A MAYO MAN who has become known for his high-profile protests against Anglo Irish Bank – including the Achillhenge structure on Achill Island - has unveiled a protest structure in the heart of London.

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Joe McNamara unveiled the seven metre-high sword structure on the banks of the Thames beside Tower Bridge on Saturday morning.

The location is also right in front of the offices of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The structure consists of a sword with the letters ‘pol’ written on it being driven through a heart­-shaped Union Jack.

A friend of the controversial developer said that the ‘pol’ is short for ‘politicians’ and the meaning of structure is that politicians are a sword through the heart of Britain.

McNamara has been working in the construction sector in England for over three years since leaving Ireland.

“Joe was amazed that he was able to carry on Saturday morning without any objection, right in the middle of London yet, when he did likewise in Achill [with Achillhenge], Mayo County Council were straight down to him,” said the friend, adding:

Joe feels that politicians are the bane of everyone’s life over here, especially with the election coming up, and that is what is being said here.

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Several different art installations have been placed at this particular location in recent years.

The structure weighs 14 tonnes; the sword is made of steel while the heart is concrete.

McNamara took the unauthorised structure down on Sunday after the management company responsible for the area asked him to do so.

McNamara came to national prominence in 2010 for two protests in Dublin which earned him the moniker the Anglo Avenger. One incident saw him drive a cement mixer to the gates of Leinster House, while another saw him park a cherry picker outside Leinster House.

In November 2011, over the course of one weekend, McNamara led the construction of Achill­henge on a hilltop above Pollagh on Achill Island. Believed to represent a tomb to the Celtic Tiger, the structure, which is 15 feet high and 30 metres in diameter, was built without planning permission and was the subject of a lengthy court process.

McNamara was eventually ordered to take it down and Mayo County Council said that if he did not take it down, they would.

However, over three years on the structure is still standing.

Mr McNamara would not comment when contacted.

Read: Achillhenge still standing, despite court order > 

Read: Achillhenge can be demolished says court order > 

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Edwin McGreal

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