DUNDALK MUNICIPAL

Anger at council's 'appalling' yarnbomb removal

"We were probably in the wrong. It shouldn’t have happened.”

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry.landy@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Anger at council's 'appalling' yarnbomb removal

The Louth ICA's yarnbomb hit Market Square in Dundalk in March. Picture: Darran Rafferty

The removal of knitted yarn items from the Market Square in Dundalk last month, items that were part of an exhibition held for International Women’s Day, has been described as “heavy handed” and “appalling.”

Last week’s Dundalk Municipal District meeting heard that members of the Louth ICA Guild were told that they did not have “planning permission” to erect the colourful knitted art pieces.
Sinn Féin councillor Anne Campbell spoke at the meeting to air her displeasure at the council workers actions.

“My understanding is that a crew from the county council took down the pieces of hand made art that the ladies had put up. When some of the ladies from the ICA had asked about it, they were told they did not have planning permission.

“We understand the ladies had permission to March 17th,” Campbell added. The items were removed on Friday March 16th.

“They were appalled the council were ripping down the art. They were shoving them in plastic bags. I haven’t had any response since March 18th,” she continued.

“The ICA have not had a response from a complaint made on the same day.”
Mark Dearey echoed the dismay felt at how the council had gone about removing the art pieces without making any communication with the ICA Guild members.

“I thought the yarnbombs were beautiful, uplifting and inspiring. It’s what the Square is there for. There has been very little art on the Square since it was built. The ICA did it with such passion and verve.”

Cllr Dearey described the removal of the yarn items as “incredibly heavy handed” and “officialdom gone mad.”

Vincent Toner, Louth Coco’s Senior Executive Engineer, said the council should have handled the situation better.

He cited health and safety as the reason why the pieces were removed.

“We should have contacted the ICA,” he told the members. That did not happen. We were probably in the wrong. It shouldn’t have happened.”