More than €1.2 million has been spent cleaning up graffiti in Dublin City in the last five years.
Dublin City Council has paid out, on average, €240,000 each year since 2010, according to figures shown to Fianna Fail councillor Jim O’Callaghan.
DCC is responsible for the removal of graffiti from its own property but also removes graffiti from private property “when it is offensive or if a building is vacant.”
“Our focus is on the city’s main areas, where the majority of graffiti takes place,” said a Council spokesperson.
Cllr O’Callaghan suggested the Council could reduce its costs, and transfer these savings to its homeless services, by taking advantage of the Community Return Programme.
“The exorbitant cost of removing graffiti is simply too high when Council resources are limited and there’s a chronic homelessness crisis in the city,” he said.
The Community Return Programme is a scheme where prisoners are granted temporary release to do unpaid community service work, such as graffiti removal.
“As part of the current review being undertaken by the Council into its litter management plan I am urging a greater use of the State’s Community Return Programme as a way of reducing the cost of removing graffiti,” said Mr O’Callaghan.
“The results of the Community Return Scheme has to date been extremely positive with almost 90 pc of participants having successfully completed their obligations for early release.”
The cost of removing graffiti in Dublin City spiked between 2012 and 2013, where almost €700,000 was spent on “specialised removals” but has since been reduced to €186,000 in 2014.