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09th Apr 2018

Huge ‘Up the Dubs’ Dublin GAA banner on Ha’penny Bridge up for review by Dublin City Council after criticism

Kate Demolder

The banner was deemed “completely inappropriate”.

An enormous Dublin GAA banner that had been draped either side of Ha’penny Bridge is currently under review by Dublin City Council.

The banner, which reads ‘Up the Dubs, Dublin City supporting The Dubs’ in the team’s colours was hung either side of the iconic bridge and has been deemed as “completely inappropriate” by the Dublin Civic Trust, an independent charitable organisation working to recognise and protect the city’s architectural heritage and civic potential.

The Dublin Civic Trust objected to the hanging of the banner on the historic structure, however, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Sinn Féin’s Mícheál Mac Donncha, has said he does not agree with Civic Trust’s objections.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Lord Mayor Mac Donncha expressed his full support for the banner being hung on the bridge, mentioning how he has “never heard any objections”.

“I’m fully supportive of the practice. It brightens up the city. They went up for the league final (against Galway earlier this month). It has been removed now and it did only go up for a period to wish the players well,” he said.

“It’s something that the citizens look forward to and celebrate. I have never heard any objections. Most citizens welcome them and they mark a great achievement.”

Eamon Ryan, a Green Party TD for Dublin Bay South and leader of the Green Party, also spoke on Monday morning’s programme, saying that he believes the huge banner was bringing down the tone of the city.

“I’m very happy the Dubs are winning and that we celebrate it but I don’t think we need to do that by defacing what is one the most iconic places in Dublin. It’s not very stylish for what it is an iconic piece of architecture. It doesn’t need banners and I think it should be left alone,” he said.

“It’s not going to damage the structure, I just don’t think it looks good. Let’s fly a massive flag off City Hall by all means. But the banner is a bit tacky.”

The Civic Trust took to Twitter earlier in the week to express their dismay at the banner’s hanging.

In a response to a tweet by Conor Pope of the Irish Times, they said the bridge, built in 1816, is “an iconic historic (and protected) structure and should not be concealed, never mind defaced, with any sort of banner or promotional material”.

JOE spoke to the Dublin City Council who referenced the history of erecting such banners prior to relevant sporting events.

“Since 2011, Dublin City Council have erected a banner on the Ha’penny bridge whenever Dublin are playing in a final,” the statement read.

“This is in addition to Liffey side flags promoting both finalists team colours. The Banner is normally scheduled to come down directly after the final concerned and it is our understanding that this was taken down over the weekend.”

As it stands, the City Council’s current guidelines on banners, which can be read here, state that “all artwork for banners must be approved, in advance, by the Events and Tourism Promotion Unit and comply with the required dimensions”, and that “the City Council is the sole owner of the lamp post infrastructure and the promotional space”.

The council statement concluded by saying it would “review the use of the Ha’penny Bridge for this purpose” in the weeks ahead.