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A wall painted by the Mad About Cork group that has been vandalised with hate speech. Pic: Alan Hurley.
A wall painted by the Mad About Cork group that has been vandalised with hate speech. Pic: Alan Hurley.

Cork officials looking to facilitate new designated graffiti wall

CORK City could be getting a new designated graffiti wall to allow people living in the city to share their art with their community.

Cork City Council and the Gardaí have met to discuss the possibility of putting a graffiti wall in the city to combat a rise in this type of criminal activity.

Superintendent John Quilter said there is a problem with graffiti in various locations across the city.

Supt Quilter said the perpetrators are often opportunists causing vandalism, but there are also artists defacing walls and buildings across the city.

“Detection is difficult,” Supt Quilter said, “You have to actually catch them in the act.” Supt Quilter also said from those that have been caught in the act of crime, they are usually not juveniles.

The Cork cop also said that the force had facilitated a designated area for graffiti previously, which was extremely successful and now, in conjunction with the City Council, they are looking around the city for another potential area where artists could be allowed express themselves.

Speaking about the issue of graffiti, Supt Quilter said it was a serious offence of criminal damage with strong penalties, depending on the circumstances.

“The amount of damage caused determines if it is district or circuit court.

“For example if someone defaced City Hall it would be a circuit court matter, with potential there for a maximum sentence of five years.

“Whether or not they are repeat offenders is also taken into consideration and the expense of the cleaning needed on the building or wall.

“In some of these cases, the cost of cleaning could be thousands.” Alan Hurley, an artist with Mad About Cork, said they think a new graffiti wall is a great idea.

“We started our work in Coleman’s Lane, built on the same idea, to brighten up the lane with colourful graffiti.

There are a couple of walls in Cork which see great work created on them."