Search icon


03rd Sep 2019

Devastation As Dublin City Council Orders Removal Of Subset’s David Attenborough Mural

Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

First Stormzy, then the icnoic Horseboy and now the king of docs: David Attenborough – this is a joke.

This morning, Dublin City Council ordered for the removal of the David Attenborough mural on Longwood Avenue just off Clanbrassil Street in Portobello.

The mural was created by Dublin street art collective Subset earlier this year to celebrate the BBC activist’s 93rd birthday.

According to, the mural was described by the council as an “unauthorised development”; it was painted without planning permission and may be subject to an enforcement order under the Planning and Development Acts.

It has also been stated that the owner of the property where the mural is painted has no objection to it being there.

Local Green Party representative Claire Byrne told The Journal:

“There’s been some mixed reaction to the mural locally, but it’s not advertising anything. We have a real graffiti problem in the area, and I think the mural has actually helped with that, particularly on the wall of the house where it’s based.” 

This is the second mural in the last few weeks to come under fire with Dublin City Council. The last mural, Horseboy, has more than 5,000 signatures on an online petition calling for it to be saved.

Subset said:

“If the landlord wishes for the artwork to be removed we respect that decision as it is ultimately their choice to make. However to the best of our knowledge the tenant had in fact received permission from the landlord at the time we painted this piece.DCC then retrospectively permitted the artwork, for which the landlord’s permission is required. Curious. 

The situation is quite complex once the surface is scratched. Artwork removal is one thing, tenants rights is another. It might be an idea to take a look at the High Court case file. Curious and curiouser. “

Such a shame!