Sunday 24 June 2018

'Up the Dubs' football banners hung on Ha'penny Bridge branded 'cheap and tacky'

Banners placed on the Ha'penny Bridge celebrating Dublin GAA have been branded cheap and tacky Pic Collins Photos
Banners placed on the Ha'penny Bridge celebrating Dublin GAA have been branded cheap and tacky Pic Collins Photos

Kathy Armstrong

Banners placed on the Ha'penny Bridge celebrating Dublin GAA have been branded "cheap" and "tacky" by Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Signs reading "Up the Dubs - Dublin City supporting the Dubs" have been hung on either side of the bridge by Dublin City Council over the past few years to honour the men and ladies' teams reaching the championship and league finals.

They were hung up again last week to mark the Dublin Senior men's team beating Galway in the league final on April 1, sparking a debate on social media.

The Dublin Civic Trust tweeted: "These completely inappropriate banners have been going on for years.

"The Ha'penny Bridge is an iconic historic (and protected) structure and should not be concealed, never mind defaced, with any form of banner or promotional material."

The banners were taken down late last week, as planned after the crunch match, and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that he doesn't want to see them hung on the Ha'penny again.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One today, he said: "I'm very happy that Dublin keep winning and that we celebrate and mark it, including the league final last weekend against Galway.

"But I don't think we need to do that by defacing what is one of the iconic images of Dublin, what is an iconic piece of architecture of Dublin.

"I'm glad it has been taken down again and that the city council is going to review it.
"The main complaint that the Civic Trust and others have is that this is a protected structure, we're spending a lot of money trying to keep it clean and to stop people from putting locks on it, we don't need to put what isn't a very stylish banner on an iconic piece of architecture.

"The bridge brightens up the city on its own, it doesn't need banners on top of it to make it any better, it's perfect as it is and I think it should be left alone."

He continued to say that while he understands the banners are not a key issue for the city, he does not think that they look good.

Mr Ryan explained: "I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it, it didn't cost too much to put it there and it won't cost much not to put it there.

"It's not going to damage the structure of the bridge but I don't think that it looks good, I think the bridge in its own right and should be left alone.

"Let's put banners up elsewhere, let's fly a massive Dublin flag from City Hall by all means to celebrate the Dubs winning but you don't do that by putting a plastic banner on a protected structure, one of the iconic images of Dublin, let's leave it as it is...

"I just don't think that this banner brings anything classy, it looks cheap and tacky and it's attached onto an Irish structure that works fine on its own."

Micheal MacDonncha.jpg
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Dublin Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha disagreed, saying he thinks that the signs "brighten up the city" and that he likes the show of support for the footballers.

He said on Morning Ireland: "It was put up the last number of years to celebrate and mark Dublin's success in the football.
"I fully support the practice as I think it brightens up the place and it celebrates great achievement, both by men and woman Gaelic footballers.

"They went up this year on the Ha'Penny Bridge for the league final, it has been removed and it was only up for that period to wish the players well.

"We have had a lot to celebrate in football over the last few years.

"I do have a lot of respect for the Civic Trust and the work they do but I think they are wrong on this one, it's something that the citizens enjoy and look forward to, so I think they're wrong on this one.

"I think there are bigger issues to focus on and this is something positive."

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council told Independent.ie: "Dublin City Council have not received any official complaints about the banner.

"Since 2011, Dublin City Council have erected a banner on the Ha’penny bridge whenever Dublin are playing in a final which has, admittedly, been a more frequent occurrence in the last few years. This is in addition to Liffey side flags promoting both finalists team colours.

"The Banner is normally scheduled to come down directly after the final concerned and I understand this was taken down over the weekend.

"Dublin City Council endeavours to promote all positive sporting, community and cultural initiatives that take place in the city, particularly one that engages local communities and occasionally uses city assets to achieve this. 

"The City Council will review the use of the Ha’penny bridge for this purpose."

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