It is heartbreaking and mystifying why an iconic image of one of Ireland's best loved characters should suffer a similar fate to figures of hatred around the world. On Sunday, a statue of singer Luke Kelly in the Guild Street area of Dublin was sprayed with graffiti for the seventh time in recent months. The 1.8m-high marble bust, with copper wire used for Kelly's trademark beard and hair, is located near his birthplace and was unveiled on the 35th anniversary of his death in January 2019. It is one of two sculptures of the singer in Dublin city centre — the other one is located near St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre.
It may not be possible always to prevent such vandalism, though every effort is being made. In any event, successive attempts to deface his statue will not shroud his legacy. It is best to remember Luke Kelly for his music, his astonishing voice, and his contribution to Irish culture.
Growing up on Sheriff Street in Dublin's inner city and leaving school in his early teens, Kelly typified the working-class musician. His voice lives on and can never be defaced.