Council shells out €1.4m to combat graffiti 'vandalism'
Graffiti is an ugly problem in Dublin city and it turns out it is an expensive one too - it has cost Dublin City Council €1.4m over the last five years.
Removing graffiti cost over €230,000 in 2014 alone, new figures have revealed.
Chief executive Owen Keegan said that the graffiti removal service has been tendered out to a private contractor for many years.
However, he said that there was a reduction in costs between 2013 and last year, as the city council now carries out some of these services itself.
He said that it was not possible to break the payments down on an area-by-area basis, however, it was possible to state that "particular emphasis with the graffiti removal programme is placed on the north and south city centre areas and the majority of the programme funds are spend in those areas".
He supplied information on the amount spent on the removal of graffiti since 2010 to Fianna Fail councillor Daithi De Roiste.
Last year, it was €238,581; in 2013 it was €416,686; in 2012 it was €320,447; in 2011 it was €293,502; and in 2010 it was €206,729.
Mr De Roiste said the issue of graffiti is a blight on the city.
"I find it astonishing that Dublin City Council, in times of great hardship and need, have had to spend over €1.4m over five years on removing such blatant vandalism of public property," he said.
He said that the money spent would have been of benefit to many other worthwhile initiatives.
"I would urge anybody that engages in the destruction of our communities to realise that there is significant monetary cost associated in cleaning up their illegal activity and to cease immediately," he said.
The problem of graffiti is not confined to city centre areas.
Recently Paul Foley, a councillor for Templeogue and Terenure, said a new mobile camera initiative would help clamp down on a spate of graffiti incidents in the south-Dublin area.
The council approved a motion put forward by Mr Foley which will see CCTV units rolled out across south Dublin in a bid to curb the problem.
"Last year, South Dublin County Council received almost 400 complaints about graffiti," he said.