“No matter how hard the other side try to paint over the issue, the Eighth Amendment causes women immense harm and suffering.”
The controversial ‘Repeal the 8th’ mural created by Irish street artist Maser and the HunReal Issues, and removed from the Project Arts Centre earlier this week by instruction of the Charities Regulator, has returned to Temple Bar, in Dublin.
The mural has been painted on the side of Seán MacBride House on Fleet Street, on the offices of the headquarters of Amnesty International Ireland. The mural had previously been painted on the wall of Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar, both in 2016 and last week, but it was removed both times after objections were raised with governing bodies.
In 2016 the mural was removed after the arts centre received a warning notice from Dublin City Council Planning Department, saying that the work is in violation of the Planning & Development Acts (2000-2015).
Last week it was removed after Project Arts Centre was informed by the Charities Regulator that the artwork was deemed political activity and as a result, was in breach of the Charities Act 2009.
Inspired by the colours used in Amnesty International Ireland’s ‘It’s Time’ campaign, the rehoming of the mural has been welcomed by Amnesty International Ireland’s Executive Director, Colm O’Gorman.
“It is such a positive statement, an uplifting, positive and affirming statement,” O’Gorman said of Maser’s art piece. “I know when it was on the Project Arts Centre, it was hugely motivating for people who are really concerned about the eighth amendment and the impact it has on the human rights of women and girls in Ireland.
“It looked like some people object to that positivity and tried to find ways where they could use some sort of regulatory body to have it removed, and that was something we were hugely concerned about.”
The building, which has housed the offices of Amnesty International Ireland for over a decade, used to be the home of the Irish Women’s Worker’s Union.
“We felt there was no better place to bring it back,” said O’Gorman. “No matter how hard the other side try to paint over the issue, the Eighth Amendment causes women immense harm and suffering. This mural is a testament to the unwavering spirit of those who have campaigned for 35 years for its repeal. We hope that after 25 May, ‘Repeal the 8th’ need no longer be the rallying cry for those concerned for women’s dignity and equality,”
Speaking about the new version of the mural, Cian O’Brien, Artistic Director of Project Arts Centre said: “I’m delighted to see that Maser’s artwork will have a life beyond its short one on the wall of Project Arts Centre. I hope this is the start of many more replications of this important artwork across the city.”
HunReal Issues also welcomed the return of the mural on Twitter.
— Project Arts Centre (@projectarts) April 27, 2018
Colm O’Gorman told GCN.ie that the charities regulation rule used to remove Maser’s piece from Project Arts Centre cannot be exploited in this case.
“If you’re a human rights organisation, you cannot be a registered charity in Ireland, so that rule does not apply to Amnesty International Ireland,” he said.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.