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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Mural high ground

Copper Face Jacks, Tayto and Bohemians FC sent warning letters by Dublin City Council over murals

The council sent 35 letters under the Planning and Development Act in recent years.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has investigated more than 20 murals across the capital for alleged breaches of planning laws in the last three years, new figures show.

Between January 2017 and October last year, the local authority sent 35 letters under the Planning and Development Act in an attempt to clamp down on murals which it believed had been painted without receiving planning permission.

Under planning regulations, those who want to paint a mural on a property have to apply for planning permission, as they would if they wanted to build an extension on their home.

Those who do not comply may be issued with a warning letter by a local authority, who could initiate legal proceedings if the mural is not removed and found to have breached planning laws.

Copies of letters issued by Dublin City Council, released to under the Freedom of Information Act, show that nightclub Copper Face Jacks, football club Bohemians and Tayto are among those to have been sent warning notices by the council since 2017.

Warnings were issued for both advertisements and street art, and were occasionally sent to multiple parties regarding the same mural.

They included notices sent to the owners of properties in Smithfield and on the South Circular Road, where the ‘Horseboy’ and David Attenborough murals by artist collective Subset are painted.

The Attenborough mural was painted on the side of the property in Portobello last year, and was unveiled on the BBC documentary maker’s 93rd birthday, before the council ordered its removal because it was considered an “unauthorised development”.

The Horseboy mural, which is painted on gable end of a rented property on Church Street, has been located there for a number of years but was also considered an “unauthorised development” by Dublin City Council last year.

Both murals remain in place, and the council initiated legal proceedings at Dublin District Court to have them removed last week.

david-attenborough-mural-dublin Subset Subset

Taxi company Free Now fell foul of the council over three murals in July, after it announced its re-brand by painting advertisements at Richmond Street, Camden Street and Aungier Street last year.

Nightclub Copper Face Jacks and Tayto were also warned by DCC in 2019, after an advertisement for a new line of crisps was painted on the side of the Harcourt Street venue.

Other venues were also contacted by the council over murals, including the Royal Oak in Dublin 8, which was sent a warning letter for a piece that appeared on the front of the Kilmainham pub.

88039324_477778633101236_7917779060648837120_n The Royal Oak The Royal Oak was warned over this mural last July The Royal Oak

JJ Smyths on Aungier Street was also warned about a Free Now mural which appeared on its building last year, while up the road, Against the Grain was issued with a letter in 2018 over an advertisement for its own pub that faced onto Wexford Street.

In December the same year, a property owner on Thomas Street was contacted after an advertisement for tourist attraction Vaults Live appeared on the side of a building.

And in March 2018, former nightclub Hangar was warned about “a Subset mural” on the front of its building.

The council did not specify which of two murals by the group were subject to the notice, with works of Donald Trump and the Rubber Bandits’ Blindboy Boatclub both adorning the front of the venue before its demolition.

bb Twitter / Gutter Bookshop Twitter / Gutter Bookshop / Gutter Bookshop

Also in 2018, Phibsborough football club Bohemians was issued with a notice by the council after the local authority alleged that there were murals painted on the walls of the club’s stadium Dalymount Park “without the benefit of planning permission”.

The stadium features a number of murals, including images of Phil Lynott, Bob Marley, an anti-racism slogan, and the club’s crest.

DCC did not specify which of these murals did not, in its view, comply with planning laws and it is not clear whether the club subsequently removed any murals since being sent a letter by the council. 

download (4) Gary Carr / INPHO Murals of Bob Marley and Phil Lynott at Dalymount Park Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

The local authority also issued a number of warning letters regarding the wall of a property on Aungier Street on more than one occasion, after murals were painted there over the years. 

In June last year, the owners of a property on the street were contacted after a mural appeared on the side of an apartment building.

It is unclear which mural the council was referring to, but the warning coincided with the appearance of a piece by Subset referencing the work of musician Ring Saigo.

Ring Saigo Ring Saigo Ring Saigo

There is no indication that the property owner permitted the mural to be painted on the building.

Another property owner was also contacted over the appearance of a mural featuring four footballers ahead of the Women’s All Ireland Final at the same location in September 2018.

The council alleged that the mural on the south facing gable end of the apartments had been painted without the benefit of planning permission.

It is not clear if any further action was taken before the mural’s subsequent removal, while there is also no indication if that property owner permitted the image to be painted on the building.

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Meanwhile, two Centra shops in Dublin 6, one in Harold’s Cross and another in Terenure, were also contacted over unspecified murals on their walls in 2018 and 2017 respectively.

As the council did not specify the nature of these murals, it is unclear if they have since been removed or whether the council took any further action over them.  

Comments have been closed, as court proceedings have been initiated by Dublin City Council regarding the removal of two murals mentioned in this piece.