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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 22 April, 2019

"It's not just a single sex referendum": The inside story of the Galway castle mural

Artist Joe Caslin tells the story of how it all came about.

A MASSIVE NEW mural was revealed yesterday on the side of the ancient Caher Castle in Galway - showing two women in an embrace.

Like the mural featuring two men placed in Dublin last month – it’s the work of Limerick artist Joe Caslin. Speaking to about his latest work, Caslin outlined that he was looking for something completely different from his first:

We were looking for a site that was much more rural than the original George’s Street mural – and Caher Castle was a perfect fit.

Joe Caslin Girl Mural-9971 Source: David Sexton Instagram

The castle is owned privately, and Caslin liaised with the owner about every detail of the project before going ahead:

I gave the owner of the castle a shout and spoke to him about the project – he had seen my previous work. I talked him through the process and the fact that there will be no damage at all and that all the materials are biodegradable and he was very happy for us to go ahead.

caher Source: Facebook

The castle is ten feet taller than the building used for the George’s Street mural - and Caslin turned down a few different buildings before settling on the Galway site, which is a listed building:

I had been offered a few sites, water towers and things like that, but I was looking for something with that edge and somewhere rural. The castle has beautiful stone so it was the perfect – and an absolute contrast to the first one.

Along with the materials being biodegradable, the adhesive is made from potato starch – “the most Irish thing ever” - and will eventually come off the castle naturally, leaving no marks, just as it did on the George’s Street one:

Same Sex Murals Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Installing such a large piece of art on a castle is no small task:

There were two of us that installed it, and we used a cherry picker and large boom. The castle stone was a beautiful surface to work on, and it took the nuance of the paper so well. We kicked off on Saturday and we were finished by Sunday night. It took us about 14 hours to complete.

The mural depicts two females in a loving embrace – and Caslin says that this was always planned as a follow up to the Dublin work, which became a focal point of debate over the same-sex marriage referendum.

It’s not just a single sex referendum - not all focus is on men. So from the very outset of this project, that’s we wanted to do – show the female side of marriage equality.

By David Elkin. Originally published on

More A new marriage equality mural with two women has gone up on a castle in Galway>

Read: Gay cake row: Bakery GUILTY of discrimination, judge rules

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