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Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Much more than an act of vandalism' - Art designed to remember Mother and Baby centres goes up in flames

Pic via Twitter @meteconelmondo
Pic via Twitter @meteconelmondo

Cian Murray, Alan O'Keefe

An art installation which was designed to remember Ireland's Mother and Baby Centres went up in flames in Dublin's Temple Bar this afternoon.

The fire was located on the corner of Essex and Exchange Street near the Smock Alley Theatre.

A nearby premises, that wishes not to named, confirmed that the exhibition was alight until around 5:30pm, at which time it was extinguinshed.

Mannix Flynn, who designed the piece, expressed his disappointment after visiting the site of the blaze.

He said: "It is destroyed. The whole piece of work is destroyed. The artwork itseslf has been there for two years. It calls to remember all the children who have been vanished, the "Tuam babies" and also the many children we know nothing about in this part of our social history."

"It was called Somebody's Child. It gave people a chance to reflect. I am flabbergasted why somebody would want to burn it down. The Gardaí are investigating as an act of malicious damage."

"This seems to me to be much more than an act of vandalism. The site was targetted."

A 35-year-old woman who lives near the site of the blaze said: "I called the fire brigade shortly after 4pm and they arrived 10 minutes later.

"This is the third time there has been a  fire at this site.  We had to leave our apartment building around six months ago when some rubbish caught fire beside the art installation.

Drug users have been climbing into the site regularly to take drugs so I'm not surprised there's been another fire. They could have been lighting up when they were taking drugs," she said.

Dublin Fire Brigade has confirmed that they have responded to a fire in the area this evening.

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