Tuesday 22 May 2018

Council tells Nama to remove 40ft mural of Drumm as 'Satan'

Order issued to remove provocative street art after years on public display on city quays, writes Niamh Horan

TAKE IT DOWN: The Anglo mural on the quays in Dublin. Photo: David Conachy
TAKE IT DOWN: The Anglo mural on the quays in Dublin. Photo: David Conachy
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

NAMA is being ordered this weekend to remove a large-scale street painting of former Anglo Irish boss David Drumm mocked up as a laughing satanic figure from a property it holds on one of Dublin's busiest roads.

The mural covers an entire wall of a former nightclub on Dublin's Lower Ormond Quay as well the adjoining Yamamori restaurant, which is separately owned by businessman Derek Ryan, who commissioned the work.

It is in full view of the public coming from Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court where Mr Drumm will face two trials in 2017 and 2018.

It portrays two images of Drumm: one as a chuckling horned devil figure with a long Pinocchio-style nose - complete with the symbol of Anglo Irish Bank on his forehead.

In the second, Drumm is again depicted as a horned devil, dressed in a robe covered in the Anglo logo.

However, in this painting he is pulling a fire-breathing dragon, which is clutching men in business suits and wrapped around the unfinished headquarters of his former bank.

A Celtic Tiger is shown bursting through Drumm's chest, while the image of the Anglo tapes stands beside it.

Overhead a construction crane, with the word Nama across it, illustrates that the organisation is building on Dublin's skyline.

Dublin City Council has told the Sunday Independent the order will be served to Nama in the coming days under the Litter Pollution Act.

However, a Nama spokesperson has said it "does not own the property in question", so is not responsible for graffiti removal.

The 40ft graffiti has been on public display for almost three years. It is to be removed before the end of the week.

This weekend Mr Ryan told the Sunday Independent: "There was not one single objection to the image."

He added: "The country was disgusted with the banking crisis and the meaning behind it is the dragon slaying the tiger."

He later said: "If they remove it I will put something else in its place. I already have something in mind."

The move by DCC comes only weeks after Drumm stated that he feels he will never get a fair trial in Ireland.

Drumm has long been cast as the villain in Ireland's massive banking collapse. He has always maintained others were equally to blame and that he was a scapegoat.

Speaking in February, the ex-Anglo CEO told a Sunday newspaper: "My version of events, acceptance of responsibility for my failings, and information that I feel should be made public, and is critical to the public interest, will never get a hearing because evidently the establishment has much to fear from my evidence.

He later added: "It is abundantly clear that I have been made a scapegoat for all of the problems Ireland has endured since the financial crisis of 2008."

Drumm will face two trials in relation to alleged offences committed during his time as chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank.

The 49-year-old is charged with 33 counts under two separate bills concerning alleged offences committed at the now defunct bank. He has yet to enter a plea to the charges.

The former banker's bail conditions were relaxed earlier this month with the consent of gardai and the DPP which means Drumm now has to sign on at a garda station just once per day instead of twice.

Mr Drumm, with an address of Old Colony Road, Wellesley, Massachusetts in the US, faces two charges of conspiring to defraud depositors and investors at Anglo by "dishonestly" creating the impression that deposits in 2008 were €7.2bn larger than they were. He faces one additional charge in relation to the EU transparency directive.

He will stand trial for these offences on April 24, 2017.

Drumm also faces 16 counts of offering unlawful financial assistance to members of businessman Sean Quinn's family and 10 other individuals as well as 14 charges of falsifying documents. These charges will be dealt with at a trial set down for January 12, 2018. Meanwhile, the artist behind the mural has chosen to remain anonymous.

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News