'We're losing fight' on €500k graffiti vandals
ALMOST half a million euro was spent on removing graffiti from city properties last year, the Herald can reveal.
The €490,000 bill lays bare the serious problem of graffiti and vandalism throughout the city, with Dublin City councillors today warning that the issue is spiralling out of control.
The council has admitted that it adopts a different approach depending on the nature of the graffiti, with only those that are seen as offensive being removed immediately.
A spokesman told the Herald that it removed graffiti from private property "with the written consent of the owner".
"We generally try to encourage owners to remove graffiti themselves but there are many occasions when we would remove it," he added. However, councillors have today accused the council of "losing the battle" with vandals.
Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the prosecuting of vandals should be "top priority".
"Entire streets are being destroyed by these thugs who are engaging in criminal damage," he said.
"But we need to make bringing them to justice the top priority because they are getting away with it as far as I can see.
"The cost to clean up the graffiti last year was absolutely massive and it's a cost that they council can ill afford."
Mr Flynn added that he had pinpointed a number of shops in the city that were selling spray paint and aerosol cans at "rock bottom prices".
And Councillor Damian O'Farrell -- who is based in the north inner city -- told the Herald that graffiti was one of the most serious issues in communities.
"We're losing the battle here. The figures show it's spiralling out of control," he said.
"Clearly there are young people regularly partaking in this type of criminal behaviour and communities are not going to accept it any longer."
Meanwhile, the Herald can reveal that a file has been sent to the DPP in relation to three teen vandals who were caught carrying a large quantity of spray cans in July.
The teens -- who are from the south side of the city -- were questioned as part of a garda operation which matched graffiti around Dublin with 'tags' on their belongings.