herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Shock as councillor's studio attacked over busking row

Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.
Mannix Flynn's vandalised gallery on 18 Ormond Quay Dublin 1.

A CITY-centre studio where councillor Mannix Flynn has an office has been attacked by vandals apparently protesting the new busking by-laws.

The window of his premises on Ormond Quay was smashed and vile graffiti was smeared on the door and walls, some of which made sickening references to the abuse he suffered in an industrial school.

The artist and Independent councillor was in the building at the time of the attack in the early hours of yesterday morning and believes it occurred due to his outspoken stance on the new regulations for busking.

ABUSIVE

"No way we won't pay to play. How dare you," was written on the door of the building.

Another foul-mouthed reference to sex abuse was scrawled on the windows that weren't broken with Mr Flynn describing this as "unnerving and abusive".

The attack came after busking by-laws introducing an 80 decibel level and permit charges of between €30 and €90 were passed by Dublin City Council on Monday night.

The vote fell short of banning amplifiers, a measure that Mr Flynn had argued for and he didn't support the new regulations on that basis.

He was one of 17 councillors that voted against the by-laws.

"The busking community have to condemn this kind of behaviour," Mr Flynn said, referring to the attack on his studio, which is a 200-year-old listed building.

"If one councillor is targeted we are all targeted. This is about me exercising my duties.

"I've been two years trying to sort out the busking issues and I didn't want to vote in those by-laws the other night as they didn't recognise the residents and the workers in the city," said Mr Flynn.

He has described the attack as just another example of the "growing trend of intimidation," that people in public office have been experiencing.

He was referring to two recent incidences, one where President Michael D Higgins was the subject of verbal abuse from water protesters at a school in Finglas and another when Tanaiste Joan Burton was trapped in a car during a water protest.

INVESTIGATION

Gardai are investigating the attack on Mr Flynn's premises and are trawling through CCTV footage in the area.

"The gardai have every confidence in their investigation," said the councillor, who will now have to fork out more than €1,000 to have the window repaired.

Mr Flynn - who has been a councillor since 2009 - said he wouldn't be deterred by the incident.

"I won't be any less vocal or energetic in my work," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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