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Removing Georges Street equality mural would be a disgrace – Ellis

22 April, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West Dessie Ellis has called on Dublin City Council to allow the mural erected by artist Joe Cashlin on Georges Street in the city centre to remain. He made his comments after a complaint was made by those campaigning against Marriage Equality and claims by an independent councillor that the mural would have to be removed.

Ellis continued;

“Public art is an important part of creating a city which is an attractive and dynamic place to live. It inspires us, it challenges us and it gets us talking. This mural does all of these things, while also be a tender and tasteful depiction of a loving embrace of two men. While it is definitely something which will make us think of the Marriage Equality referendum, it is not overtly political and to me is a very fitting reminder of the different people that make up the city we live in.

“Joe Cashlin, the artist responsible for the work, erected the piece in cooperation with the owner of the premises. It causes no disruption to anyone, neither does it advertise nor promote anything other than an emotional response and to many Dubliners a feeling of pride in our diverse city.

“The mural is not overtly political and it does not reference the referendum or call for any particular vote. Those who have complained have argued that it is an unfair campaign tool. It is likely we will see billboards calling for Yes and No in the near future, this mural simply presents an image which can be interpreted in many ways as good art should.

“The mural also received worldwide media attention, images of it immediately went viral on social media and the response was from most quarters was a resoundingly approving one. If we were to remove it, the decision would not only be unfair and send a very bad signal to Dublin's LGBT community but to all LGBT people but it would also make us look very foolish, petty and backward.

“We need more public art which is inclusive and positive and gets us talking not less.” 

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