'It's a way of giving a city character' - calls for street art to be legalised in Dublin

By Fiona Frawley

February 3, 2023 at 1:02pm


"We need to relax and catch up with the rest of the world".

A member of Dublin City Council’s Arts, Culture and Recreation Strategic Policy Committee has called on the Council to legalise street art in the city.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this week, artistic director of the Dublin Theatre Festival Willie White said there should be proper legal process in place when it comes to street art.

His comments come following the announcement of The Public Art Mural (Exempted Development) Bill by Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin, who worked with artist collective Subset, the Irish Times reports.


Mr White pointed out that cities and towns such as Waterford, Drogheda, Limerick and Cork embrace and celebrate street art, and suggested it was time Dublin caught up with the rest of the country.

“There’s been a long-running wrangle between Subset and Dublin City Council who’ve enforced planning, and in some cases made them take down murals. For example, the Stormzy that was down in Smithfield.

“There has to be some kind of process, you can’t just put up any old thing anywhere. If you look for signs that Dublin’s heart is still beating - and I cycled through the city centre this morning - there’s lots of dereliction, there are lots of bland developments.


“I think street art is a way of giving a city character. There has to be a process, Dublin has to catch up.

Mr White added that the proposal would be focussed solely on neglected and overlooked spaces that could benefit from street art. "I’m not talking about slapping some up on the Custom House, Busaras, Dáil Éireann or Trinity", he said.

Header image via Instagram/dublinstreetstuff

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