Limerick councillor calls for zero tolerance on offensive graffiti

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Labour councillor Conor Sheehan with one of the graffiti slogans which has been painted over.

LIMERICK Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan is calling for zero tolerance on offensive graffiti after anti-trans graffiti was found in a number of locations in the city.

At this month’s Metropolitan District meeting, Cllr Sheehan urged the Council to adopt a zero tolerance approach to offensive, racist, sexist and homophobic graffiti by having a policy to ensure it is removed within 48 hours.

“This is already the policy in Dublin City Council, and it works very well. Adopting a zero tolerance approach sends out a strong message to the perpetrators that such vile offensive graffiti will not be tolerated and immediately removed,” he told the council executive.

“I put forward this motion because of a number of instances of anti-trans graffiti that were reported to me. This was some of the most disgusting graffiti I have ever witnessed and it is particular troubling given that it was aimed at the trans community.

“The statistics in relation to the trans community and self harm and suicide are staggering. Trans people are some of the most marginalised in our society, and they should not have to witness such a disgusting slur against them that questions their right to exist,” the City North representative added.

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Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely commended Cllr Sheehan on his motion. She said it is something that affects all of us and our communities.

“In Ennis they have a zero-tolerance approach to graffiti. Limerick City Council need to have the same. I recently visited Ennis and the town are its environs are graffiti free. We should try to do the same. It’s not too much to ask in my opinion,” Cllr Kiely commented.

“If we are serious about presenting our city in a positive way, we need to remove all graffiti within 48 hours. If we do this the people who do the graffiti will soon get sick of doing it as it will be removed.

“We as a local authority spent a fortune on rebranding Limerick, however, we are at nothing unless we put the work and resources into addressing litter and graffiti. The IBAL results are the dread of councillors and graffiti has an impact on that too unfortunately,” she claimed.

The City East representative revealed that on one occasion, she waited six months to have graffiti removed from an area on the Southside as the tender was out for a contractor.

“It is just staggering to think we can’t remove it with the resources we have.”

In response to Cllr Sheehan’s motion, Limerick City and County Council said its cleansing department has a team and contractor currently in place to address any graffiti in the Metropolitan area.

“A tender process has recently been completed to appoint a graffiti removal specialist to address graffiti call-outs within a specific time period and it is envisaged that the winning contractor will be appointed imminently.

“It is intended that this appointment will address the urgent removal of racist, offensive or political graffiti reported to our Cleansing team through the SugarCRM portal system within a 48-hours time-frame where possible,” a Council spokesperson explained.