Dublin City Council are to consider moving an iconic statue of singer and folk musician Luke Kelly to a different location after it was vandalised with paint for the fourth time last night.
The statue of the famous Dubliners singer was first unveiled in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands in January last year beside the Royal Canal near his Sheriff Street home.
But it has repeatedly been vandalised with paint and was last night attacked again, leading to fresh criticism from local representatives who have called it a crime against a community.
During the incident the culprits painted red glasses on Kelly’s face and painted some of his hair.
In previous attacks black paint has been used to carry out similar vandalism.
The statue was first attacked in June last year, and it was targeted again in January and March this year.
Local councillor Anthony Flynn described the repeated vandalism of the iconic statue as “really unbelievable”.
“You’d think that people would have some decency, and some respect more importantly,” said Mr Flynn.
“This isn’t people from Sheriff Street that are doing this. You should be completely ashamed of yourselves,” he added.
The vandalism was also blasted by two former Lord Mayors, Christy Burke and Nial Ring.
“I have been talking with senior officials in the Council last night and this morning, and we are now discussing the possibility of moving the statue. I can’t believe that somebody would target a statue to a local hero who gave everybody in the area a voice through his songs,” Cllr Burke told Independent.ie.
“Luke’s family are devastated. The whole community is devastated. If the statue was to be moved it could only happen with his family’s permission, but it is something that needs to be discussed to stop this vandalism,” he added.
“Luke Kelly was born and bred there, and was a great advocate for the locality through his work.
Luke wore Sheriff Street on his sleeve. He gave the area a belief in their strengths, encouraged them to become union members, and to be proud. It’s sickening that this keeps happening,” Cllr Burke added.
“He is a hero in the docklands area, and it took a lot of campaigning by locals to have the statue commissioned and erected.
“This area is full of people who love and respect Luke Kelly, and this mindless act does not represent the community,” he said.
"I'm also calling the individual who done this to Luke to show some dignity and respect. You've brought an insult to Luke, his family and the area," he added..
Cllr Nial Ring said the latest attack on the statute was “annoying”.
“After previous attacks Dublin City Council staff had the statue coated in a special finish so it is easier to clean, but it is still very annoying that the vandalism should happen at all,” he said.
The statue was first erected on Sheriff Street to mark the 35th anniversary of Luke Kelly’s death,
Kelly, who sang with The Dubliners, died on January 30 1984 at the age of 43.
The visually striking statue in the Docklands is a large marble head, topped with three thousand strands of metal hair, made by sculptor Vera Klute.
It is mounted on a large concrete plinth along the Royal Canal near Kelly’s birthplace.
The pose of Kelly, with his eyes closed, immersed in the song with his head tilted downwards, is based on a performance of the song Scorn not his Simplicity written by Phil Coulter.