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Budget cuts mean more graffiti in city

THERE may be more graffiti defacing the city after the council slashed the budget for removing it.

Dublin City Council spent €439,000 on undoing the vandalism last year.

However, it has budgeted only €150,000 this year for graffiti removal across its five electoral areas. That works out as a 65pc reduction.

The information was released to Labour's Mary Freehill. "The reason I asked the question was to demonstrate what graffiti is costing the city," Ms Freehill told the Herald.

"I think we need to be an awful lot more aware of the cost of sorting out the problem."

There is a limit to what the local authority can do in the context of tightening resources.

"It can only do what the funding allows it. I'm trying to get across to parents that graffiti is quite a destructive thing," Ms Freehill said.


It impacts the economy as an area is "brought down" by the vandalism, Ms Freehill added.

A spokeswoman for the city council said budgets across all departments had been reduced.

However, she claimed that a Department of Justice scheme had allowed the local authority to substantially reduce its graffiti-removal costs.

The initiative has meant petty criminals who have received a community service sentence from the courts have been taken on for the task.

In the reply to Ms Freehill, the council said the total amount paid to outside contractors for the removal of graffiti in the five city areas during 2010 was €289,000. "In addition, an in-house team removed graffiti mainly from street furniture in the south-east and central areas at a cost of approximately €150,000 in 2010," it added.