Artist may be prosecuted over graffiti on cliffs

The country’s leading natural tourist attraction has been targeted by a graffiti artist, who has painted a large mural on the rock at the Cliffs of Moher.

The graffiti, measuring roughly three metres wide and two metres wide, was discovered on a remote section of cliff, close to Hags Head in Co Clare.

The daring artist would have had to climb onto a narrow walkway overlooking a sheer 150m-high cliff in order to complete the mural. Because of the porous nature of the sandstone rock which makes up the Cliffs of Moher, it may take years or even decades for the design to be weathered away naturally.

The graffiti is located outside of the main tourist centre at the Cliffs of Moher, on a portion of coastline just off the Cliffs Walking Coastal Walking Trail. The identity of the graffiti artist is unknown but he or she could face prosecution if discovered.

“It’s a real pity that someone felt the need to express themselves in this way and negatively impact on other visitors enjoyment of the natural beauty of the area,” said Katherine Webster, director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitors’ Experience.

“It [the graffiti] appears to be towards Hags Head and off the marked coastal trail as well as at some considerable distance from the visitor centre. This is well outside of the visitor centre land.

“The Atlantic wind, rain and sea spray will wear it away over time. The Cliffs of Moher are a special protected area and it is possible that, if the person who did this could be identified, they might face action by the National Parks and Wildlife Service but I imagine identifying them and proving they were the culprit would be a very difficult task.”

The graffiti was discovered by photographer, David Olsthoorn, who was shooting seascapes when he came upon the artwork.

“It’s not an easy spot to get to. It’s a good 15-minute walk on a zip-zag path down a cliff face. It is muddy and slippery so it’s certainly not the sort of place where you’d expect to see graffiti.

“It is totally out of place there. It looks like something that should be on an alleyway in a city and certainly not on natural rock. Personally, I think it’s a good piece of art but I don’t think it’s in the right place.

“There could be much worse graffiti down there, there could be something totally stupid, but I still don’t think that this is the right setting for something like this.”

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