Art and Design / July 25, 2022

Dublin City Council order removal of Dynamo street art

Image: @dynamo_design
Art and Design / July 25, 2022

Dublin City Council order removal of Dynamo street art

Words: Ellen Kenny

Dynamo were forced to paint over their famous front mural after receiving a court order from Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council have ordered design and marketing company Dynamo to remove their shopfront mural.

The creative company based on Ormond Quay announced the removal of the art on Saturday. They explained that they were forced to paint over their “wonderful shopfront mural” due to a court order from Dublin City Council.

Dynamo’s shopfront mural

Image: Dynamo

Dynamo commissioned artist Vanessa Power to paint a mural on their shopfront during the pandemic “to share a positive message.”

The company was contacted in October 2020 by Dublin City Council to remove the mural as “no signage or change of facia is allowed along the quays in Dublin City without planning permission.”

According to Jamie Helly, founder and chairman of Dynamo, Dynamo “spoke to the planner responsible in [the Council] numerous times. Their advice was that any appeal to enable us to keep the mural would most likely result in failure.”

Helly found the removal of the art “deeply saddening. This is the work of an artist, Vanessa Power that we respect and admire. The fact we have to paint over and cover up beautiful work is beyond counter-intuitive.”

“[Dublin City Council] would be better served by looking to progressive cities around the world and how they foster and encourage art and creativity within the city environment.”

Street art in Dublin

Dublin City Council has a history of ordering the removal of street art across the city. Previously, the Council ordered art collective Subset to remove three iconic murals across Dublin.

Dublin City Council later dropped the charges the day before they were set to meet Subset in court. However, the collective fears that future proceedings might still be lodged against the collective.

According to the Council, their policy on street art requires all artists and groups like Dynamo to request permission to paint street murals in the city. Any unauthorised murals must be removed, according to the Council, especially any commerically sponsored murals or street art that resembles advertising.

The Council previously labelled Subset’s Think and Wonder artwork as an “advertising mural”. The mural is actually part of Subset’s series on mental health. It aims to spark conversation regarding the relationship each person has with themselves.

The local council also refused a Dun Laoghaire resident permission to keep the Boxing Ballerina mural painted on her own home. Cathy McGovern commissioned artist Solus to paint the work on her home last summer, and the Council ordered her to take it down a few weeks later.

The Council stated that he artwork would adversely impact on the visual amenity of the area. However, McGovern said she’s had an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the mural since it went up.

Elsewhere on District: New regulation grants artists more rights over resold work