Irish Rail has spent €250,000 removing graffiti 'art'
Under cover of darkness and armed only with their spray cans, they are the anti-establishment menace causing delays to rail services, defacing public property and sometimes even putting themselves in serious physical danger.
Irish Rail is sending out a defiant message to the masked 'artistes' who insist on 'tagging' our public transport, saying they will never give up their zero tolerance stance - and will press ahead with criminal prosecutions.
The company has already spent €250,000 to date this year on the removal of graffiti art from Iarnród Éireann rolling stock.
Hundreds of thousands more is being spent on the removal of 'throw-ups' or individual artworks from buildings, bridges and tunnels across the network.
Bank holidays and sunny days are when graffiti artists are most likely to come out to 'play'.
Most are juveniles and despite being seen as an inner city problem, more often offenders tend to be from the more affluent parts of Dublin.
Some have even attended art college, revealed Gavin Collins, the assistant station manager at Connolly Station.
While most graffiti is "very poor," he admitted that he is sometimes drawn to admire a particularly well-crafted piece of graffiti on one of their trains.
"Sometimes I think 'that's nice - if only they had expended their energy on canvas'," he said.
Mr Collins claimed graffiti artists do not realise that they are causing delays to train services by forcing carriages or engines out of service.
Arrests are currently pending against two offenders caught defacing trains, but it is thought they may have fled the jurisdiction, Mr Collins revealed.
They face fines and a criminal record.