A noted caricaturist has admitted to getting abuse over his now worldwide acclaimed image of health chief Dr Tony Holohan as Superman.
Nurses who have even posted the superhero cartoon on hospital walls are among thousands of fans who have asked for the cartoon by artist Niall O'Loughlin.
The image which portrays the Chief Medical Officer opening his suit outside a telephone box to reveal a Covid-19 free logo started out as a private commission and caught the attention of the Washington Post at the weekend after Niall painted a mural on a boarded-up window of a Dublin pub.
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I still find it utterly bizarre why so many people would want a picture of Tony Holohan on their wall(no offence Tony🥰) I’m not looking to profit from this so email me to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a printable file #TonyHolohan #Hse #COVIDー19 #caricature #freeprint #sexsymbol
However, the Meath-based artist has received some nasty emails blasting him for portraying Dr Holohan in a good light.
"I have received a handful of emails abusing me for the cartoon and referring to Dr Holohan and the cervical check scandal," he said.
"Look, unfortunately once you put yourself out in the public eye, you are going to be open to abuse and I'm not bothered by it as it's only a handful of emails among hundreds of others who love the cartoon.
"I've had nurses sending me pictures of hospital wards where they've posted the cartoon and I think I've sent out over a thousand prints so far - all of which I've sent for free in return for a donation to charity."
Niall has also decided to auction the mural in aid of Cystic Fibrosis when the pub opens again - an idea sparked by watching Dancing with the Stars TV judge Julian Benson on last weekend's Late Late Show.
"I was very impressed by him and I know people who have lost loved ones to CF so I decided that when the pub reopens and no longer needs the mural, I'm going to auction it off for the CF foundation.
"Devitt's Bar in Camden Street are fully behind the auction and have also offered a whiskey locker to be included.
"I honestly can't believe how the image has spiralled from a private commission to being printed in the Washington Post. It's mental the attention it has brought.
"I've emails in every day from people - mainly women - looking for a print and I get stopped everywhere I go about it.
"I'm a middle-aged bald man myself but I've obviously got nothing on Tony when it comes to being a sex symbol," he laughed
Niall can be contacted at https://www.caricatures.ie/.