Repeal mural reinstalled on Project Arts Centre wall two years after its removal 1 year ago

Repeal mural reinstalled on Project Arts Centre wall two years after its removal

The mural was removed from the wall back in 2016 for violating planning regulations.

A controversial Repeal mural, which was previously removed almost two years ago, has been re-installed on the wall of the Project Arts Centre in Dublin on Monday afternoon.

The red and white image, painted by street artist Maser and commissioned by The Hunreal Issues, featured a large heart and the logo “Repeal the 8th”.

The 14-foot mural remained on the wall for just over two weeks before being painted over by Dublin City Council back in July 2016.

After about 50 complaints, Dublin City Council Planning Department informed the centre that it was in violation of planning rules.

The Arts Centre, based on Essex Street in Temple Bar, were left with no choice but to paint over it after receiving a warning notice from Dublin City Council Planning Department that the work was in violation of planning law.

The wall of the Project Arts Centre has, over the years, become synonymous with campaign art following the rainbow-flagged fist-bump piece painted by Dublin artist Will St Ledger during the same-sex marriage referendum.

Upon the mural's removal, The Hunreal Issues, Maser and the staff of the Project Arts Centre announced that they would be planning to explore the possibility of re-installing the art piece as soon as possible, and it looks as if the planning has succeeded.

Speaking to JOE, Andrea Horan, the founder of The Hunreal Issues, said that they had been waiting for the opportunity to reinstall the painting for the best part of the last two years.

"So basically, since it was taken down two years ago – we've been waiting for the date [for the Abortion Referendum] to be announced so that we could put it back up and still be within the rules," Horan said.

"During the referendum campaign murals aren't allowed until a date is set, meaning that once the date has been set you can put it up. So we've been waiting for that date to come about with stencils at the ready for the past two years and have been ready to paint again since the date was announced.

"It shouldn't be coming down again."

Cian O'Brien, Artistic Director of the Project Arts Centre, told JOE about the regulations that allowed the mural to be painted over in the first place.

"According to The Planning & Development Regulations 2001, Schedule 2, Part 2, Exempted Developments, Class 14, the mural will not be subject to planning permission in the context of a Referendum," O'Brien said.

"The text of the legislation reads as follows: Advertisements relating to an election to the office of President of Ireland, an election of members of Dáil Éireann, the Parliament of the European Communities, a local authority or Údarás na Gaeltachta, or a referendum within the meaning of the Referendum Act, 1994.

"No such advertisement shall be exhibited, and no advertisement structure erected for the purpose of exhibiting such advertisement shall be left in place, for more than seven days after the date of the election or referendum to which the advertisement relates.

"What this means is that once the referendum has been completed (25 May) we will need to have the mural removed by 1 June.

"Since it was founded in 1966, Project Arts Centre has always placed the vision and freedom of expression of the artist at the centre of our work. We believe that all art is, in some way or other, indelibly political because it relates to the workings of the society from which it emerges.

"This artwork by Maser was first displayed at Project Arts Centre in July 2016 and was removed due to planning legislation.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to show this important artwork which in both its presence and absence has proven itself to be a powerful emblem in an urgent and vital national debate.

"No public monies have been spent in the commissioning or installation of this artwork."

JOE has contacted Dublin City Council for a statement and is awaiting a response.

The referendum to decide whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment has been set for Friday, 25 May.

Passing the fifth stage in the Seanad just last week, the Referendum Bill was voted through by a total of 40 votes to 10.