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'We'd obviously like to see the piece remain': Artists petition to retain Smithfield's Horseboy mural

The popular Horseboy mural is located just north of the Liffey in Smithfield.

Image: Google Street View

A PETITION CALLING for a mural in Dublin’s Smithfield area to remain in place has gained over 2,500 signatures in two days. 

The Horseboy mural is located just off Church Street in Dublin 7 and the case was referred to An Bord Pleanála this month, after Dublin City Council had ruled the mural needed planning permission or else it would be removed.

The tenant at the house, which has the mural on the side of it, made an application to the council in June that the painting should be considered “exempted development” and allowed to remain. 

A previous arrangement had granted leave for the mural to remain up until 1 April 2018, and the owner of the property told the council to remove the painting on a number of occasions. 

Dublin City Council, however, found that the mural does require planning permission, and therefore it cannot be considered exempt under existing laws. 

The case is due to be decided by 4 December. The mural is set to remain in place pending that decision. 

Following the article in TheJournal.ie earlier this week, artist collective Subset launched a petition aimed at saving the Horseboy mural.

Subset have had a number of artworks removed from Dublin city walls, notably the Stormzy mural in late 2017.

A spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “We’d obviously like to see the piece remain. It has a sweet background story – the original photo of Horseboy was taken on Smithfield Square by Australian Photographer James Horan.

We came across it and reached out to him to see if he’d allow us use it as the basis for a piece. While we were painting Stormzy, the tenant asked us would we paint his wall. It turned out to be the perfect space for the concept.

Subset said that it respects the right for a property owner to remove artwork if that is their wish, but is unsure as to the status of the mural at present. 

The art collective added that it meets with officials from Dublin City Council periodically to discuss the development of artwork in the public realm.

At the time of writing, the petition has had 2,510 signatures.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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