Council orders removal of Dublin ‘gay’ mural ahead of equal marriage vote

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Dublin City Council have ordered the removal of a giant mural featuring a same-sex couple – ahead of Ireland’s vote on same-sex marriage.
Council orders removal of Dublin ‘gay’ mural ahead of equal marriage vote

The Republic of Ireland is set to vote on May 22 on a proposal to introduce civil same-sex marriage.

Ahead of the vote, Irish artist Joe Caslin painted an enormous mural on the side of a four-story building in Dublin’s city centre, as a “poignant representation of same sex love in the city”.

One of the men in the mural is wearing a traditional Irish Claddagh ring – which represents friendship, loyalty and love, and has grown in popularity as a wedding ring.

However, the mural – which was painted above Rick’s Burgers on the corner of Dame Street and South Great George’s Street with permission from the building’s owners – has been ordered to be removed.

This week, a warning letter was sent to Mr Caslin by the city council asking him to take down the mural ahead of the vote.

Councillor Mannix Flynn told the Irish Times: “It’s the equivalent of having an ad on the building; it’s unauthorised and constitutes a breach of the planning act.”

However, the council has been accused of unevenly enforcing the legislation, given the vast amount of street art and graffiti in the city.

So far, nearly 40,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the council to allow the mural to stay in place.

It states: “Dublin City Council are threatening to remove the mural on South Great George’s street depicting 2 men embracing, created by Joe Caslin and erected earlier this month.

“They say this matter is due to a lack of ‘planning permission” and not to undermine the yes vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum.

“The building owners have given consent for the mural to be placed there, there was no building, simply a paper mural being erected on the side of a building, this should not be a planning matter, as many of the buildings in the area also dawn murals.

“We are asking that Dublin City Council do NOT buckle to the pressure, and allow the mural to stand high and proud on South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2.”