Friday 17 January 2020

Banning a banner over Ha'penny is a bridge too far, says councillor

The 2018 banner urging on the Dubs at the Ha’penny Bridge Pic: Collins Photos
The 2018 banner urging on the Dubs at the Ha’penny Bridge Pic: Collins Photos

Dublin City Council has gone too far in permanently banning itself from hanging a Dublin GAA banner over the Ha'penny Bridge ahead of Sunday's historic All-Ireland clash, according to a local representative.

Labour Party councillor Dermot Lacey said he was very disappointed the council had decided it will not allow any banners - civic or otherwise - to adorn the footbridge now or in the future.

The council responded to numerous complaints on social media and took down a banner it erected over the bridge in April 2018.

The banner, which read 'Up the Dubs' and 'Dublin City supporting the Dubs', had been put up on the bridge during final matches involving Dublin GAA teams since 2011.

But following a spate of complaints that erupted on social media last year - including one from Dublin Civic Trust that the banner was "inappropriate" - the council agreed to take down the banner and review its policy on the issue.


Once the controversy died down, officials from the council's planning and property management division decided no banner should be erected on the bridge for any reason in the future.

And last night the council reiterated its stance.

"The banner will not be displayed on the Ha'penny Bridge in the future. The Ha'penny Bridge is a protected structure and it was agreed this location is not suitable for displaying such banners," a spokesperson said.

But Mr Lacey said the decision was over the top.

"It's only for a few days," he said of the countdown to Sunday's historic All-Ireland Senior Football final with Kerry, in which Dublin are hoping to win an unprecedented five consecutive championships.

The Dublin Ladies' Senior Football team is also hoping to win three back-to-back championships when they take on Galway on September 15.

Although the council did erect the same banner over the Fairview bridge ahead of both the Dublin men and women's semi-final matches this year, it has yet to decide if it will do the same for Sunday's crunch match at Croke Park.

But Mr Lacey said that as a matter of civic pride the council should be supporting local GAA.

"It's not like it is desecrating a public structure," he said of the Ha'penny Bridge. "I favour it going up."

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