herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Upsurge in graffiti triggers fears of CIRA 'recruit' bid

FEARS have been expressed that the Continuity IRA is on a "recruitment drive" in Dublin after a spate of graffiti appeared.

Dublin City Council has revealed a series of CIRA slogans have been spray-painted on walls in the north inner city in recent weeks.

However, the slogans have been promptly removed.

In a report, the council said it was continuing to work on graffiti removal with the Probation Service and its own corporate contractor, P Mac.

"There was a spate of political CIRA slogans in the central area, most notably in the north east inner city," the council said.

"All of these have been removed by our corporate contractor and we are continuing to remove these slogans within 24 hours of receiving reports," it added.

Independent councillor Christy Burke told the Herald he had noticed CIRA graffiti around the city, adding that they must be on "a recruitment drive".

"I have seen a few bits," he said. "It's obviously a crowd in the area that are active."

He added that it is "hard to know" whether the graffiti would have an effect on young people in the area. However, he feels the perpetrators are opportunistic and it is not like they are "standing on corners having recruitment meetings".





Slogans

Among the places he observed slogans were Mountjoy Street, Summerhill and Ossory Road.

The council said it removed a total of 450 square metres of graffiti last month.

The Probation Service initiative allows the council to hire offenders -- who have received a community service sentence from the courts -- as graffiti removers. Serious offenders or dangerous criminals are not considered for the scheme.

One of the conditions of the graffiti initiative is that it is not carried out on council houses and flats.

The team consists of a supervisor, an industrial civil servant, five operatives a van and power washer and rollers extension poles and chemicals.

Probation Service officials carry out the training and supervision.

The scheme began in the city council area early last year.

Former Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said: "Sadly, graffiti is a feature of all major cities."

comurphy@herald.ie

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