The Maser Repeal mural has been reinstalled at Amnesty Ireland's headquarters
This is the third time the controversial mural has been reinstalled in the city centre.
A mural associated with the Repeal movement, which has been previously removed twice from the city centre's walls, has been re-installed on the wall of Amnesty International in Dublin on Friday afternoon.
The mural was removed from the walls of the Project Arts Centre for a second time just last week after the centre was informed that the piece was going against regulations put in place by the Charities Regulator.
Prior to this, the piece had been removed two years earlier due to a lengthy dispute with Dublin City Council Planning Department, who informed the artist and the centre that they were in violation of planning rules.
According to the Charities Regulator, the mural's presence was deemed inappropriate, compromised the organisation’s charitable status and consequently jeopardised its funding.
Friday, April 27, saw the piece resurrected for a third time, this time on Amnesty International's Ireland headquarters on Fleet Street in Temple Bar.
Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, took to Twitter to share an image of the freshly painted mural alongside O'Gorman himself, street-artist Maser, The Hunreal Issues founder Andrea Horan and artistic director of the Project Arts Centre Cian O'Brien.
— Colm O'Gorman 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@Colmogorman) April 27, 2018
The re-instalment is exactly the same as it was before, except for a change in colour from white and red to yellow and purple.
Painted by street artist Maser and commissioned by The Hunreal Issues, the piece features a large heart and the logo 'Repeal the 8th'.
— Amnesty Ireland (@AmnestyIreland) April 27, 2018
Andrea Horan of The Hunreal Issues spoke to JOE about the ongoing battle to represent art in the city centre.
"After we waited almost two years to put Maser's mural back up within DCC regulations, the Charity Regulator took it upon themselves to decide what is and isn't art. It is art – art by its very nature is political," Horan said.
"Amnesty International Ireland kindly offered their building to bring it back. As human rights are not eligible for charitable status, Amnesty International Ireland is not a charity."
The topic of the controversial mural arose in the Dáil upon its removal last week, with Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger blasting the move as an act of archaic censorship.
“This country has an inglorious record of censorship, both artistic and political, and this parliament should be clear,” Coppinger said.
“A piece of art was removed from an arts building in 2018 in a ruling more reminiscent of the Committee on Evil Literature of the 1920s.”
“Are we back to the old days of de Valera, when the arts had to keep to the holiest traditions?” asked Coppinger.
“What was wrong with de Valera?” replied staunch Fianna Fáil and Pro-Life supporter Michael Healy-Rae.
“Or the Catholic Church?” added his brother, Danny.
Coppinger, while holding up a picture of the mural, asked the Taoiseach if he believed that “that art shouldn’t argue for social change and that charities shouldn’t either".
Taoiseach Varadkar replied by saying that the decision had been taken by the regulator, not the government and that he didn't believe the artwork was "offensive".
“Certainly, from my personal point of view, I don’t find the mural in any way offensive, but I don’t think it’s murals or posters that are going to change people’s minds or convince people on this issue.”
“I’ve no doubt that the mural will appear elsewhere, perhaps somebody who owns a private building may wish to make space available for the mural to be reinstated,” he said.