Sunday 22 April 2018

Artists furious at use of works in development plan

Shane Hickey

A ROW has erupted between a prominent developer and a number of high-profile artists.

Six artists -- including Robert Ballagh -- say they did not give permission for their work to be used and associated with a new development for O'Connell Street in Dublin.

Builder Joe O'Reilly's company, Chartered Land, is seeking permission to develop the Carlton cinema site and, as part of the application, has included plans for a commemorative feature about the Easter Rising.

The 17 artists featured in the proposal for the €1bn 'Dublin Central' plan include Mr Ballagh, who has spoken out against the development.

The plan covers a 5.5-acre area from O'Connell Street to Moore Street and from Henry Street to Parnell Street.

Campaigners have been opposed to any change to certain buildings on Moore Street, which they say played a significant part in the 1916 Rising.

Mr Ballagh said he had opposed the development before but was then surprised to find his work featured in a booklet about a proposal for a commemorative feature, which was submitted to An Bord Pleanala as part of the application for the development.

"They submitted a book to An Bord Pleanala which included images of mine and many other artists. This was done without seeking permission," he said.

"The situation is that I am obviously personally very unhappy in my own case, particularly that my images are being used to bolster a planning application that I have opposed. But also on the basis of abuse of artists' copyright, I would be very annoyed about that as well."

The Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation (IVARO) has written to Chartered Land and Event Ireland, the company which produced the brochure, to complain about the inclusion of the artists without their permission.

Mr Ballagh said an offer of an apology was not enough and demanded that the booklet be withdrawn.

A spokesperson for Chartered Land declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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