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Dublin City Council's legal bid to remove street art murals to get full hearing next March

The murals, by artist collective Subset, were allegedly allowed by residents without permission of the city’s planning department.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL’S prosecution over two prominent street art murals – including one celebrating the life of David Attenborough – will go to a full hearing next March.

The murals, by artist collective Subset, were allegedly allowed by residents without permission of the city’s planning department. As a result, the council issued warnings and enforcement notices to have the paintings removed.

The case, delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, was back before Dublin District Court today to confirm a contested hearing date.

The council’s solicitor Michael Quinlan told Judge Anthony Halpin the defence has agreed it would take place on 3 March.

Judge Halpin marked it down for hearing on that date and noted it would last at least half a day.

The court ordered disclosure of evidence to the defence earlier.

The Attenborough mural, painted in 2019 on the side of a property in Portobello, was unveiled on the renowned naturalist and broadcaster’s 93rd birthday.

It was on the gable wall of a house on South Circular Road facing Longwood Avenue, in Dublin 8.

Dublin City Council ordered its removal because planning permission was not obtained for the “unauthorised development”.

The second mural, just off Church Street, Dublin 7, has been dubbed Horseboy.

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It is based on a picture taken nearby at Smithfield Square by Australian Photographer James Horan. Subset recreated it on the gable end of a property.

A petition to keep it has attracted almost 6,000 signatures.

Council planning enforcement officers who examined each mural held they were not exempt from needing planning permission.

Under Section 154 of the Planning and Developments Acts 2000, the local authority sent enforcement notices to remove the artwork.

Subset has had other artwork removed from Dublin city walls, including the Stormzy mural in 2017.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

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