Lock pickers are breaking hearts to save city bridge
A Dublin man and his lock picking group have removed over 50kg of locks that were being placed on the city's Ha'penny bridge by loved-up couples within the last month.
The capital's 200-year-old bridge is to be saved from the weight of padlocks as lock pickers mobilise to prevent the protected structure.
The bridge is becoming damaged by locks placed on it by tourists and locals alike.
Lock picker Martin Mitchell has been removing the love symbols for over 10 years on and off, and says that the number of people involved in picking the locks has grown in the last number of years.
"I've been doing it for over 10 years on and off, but since around 2012 it has really grown, with the increase in couples hanging locks onto the likes of the Ha'penny Bridge," he told the Herald.
He joined a lock picking group back in 2010. The group has since received the green light from Dublin City Council to remove the bolts.
"I don't think people are aware of the damage they are doing to the bridge, and Dublin City Council are now backing us to take down the locks," he said.
The Valentine's weekend proved particularly fruitful as he amassed more than 14kg in metal over three days.