News: Controversial Removal of “Teenage Kicks” Graffiti Piece in Ireland
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The removal of an iconic graffiti piece in east Belfast, Ireland has caused controversy among community groups and the public. The “Teenage Kicks” mural was a reference to the 1978 punk rock song by The Undertones, and was painted on an overpass the day after the death of BBC Radio DJ John Peel in October of 2004. The song was well known as Peel’s all-time favorite song, hence the piece painted in his honor after his death. The mural lasted almost a decade, only to be removed recently by the Department of Social Development and possibly other community groups.
The removal of the mural caused a surge of criticism from citizens of Northern Ireland. In the face of this controversy, the East Belfast Partnership and the Ballymac Friendship Group, two community groups in East Belfast, have both denied any part in the removal of the piece, despite claims from the DSD that they did have a part in it. The removal of the piece, according to the DSD, was to be part of a plan to improve the public welfare of the area. They have claimed that the removal of this particular piece of graffiti was agreed upon by all community groups as a necessary step in the scheme to the improve the East Belfast area, although these groups are now denying that they agreed to the removal of the graffiti.
It is unclear whether or not these community groups did agree that the graffiti should be removed, but it remains a sad truth that the iconic mural no longer stands in the place where it paid tribute to John Peel and The Undertones for nearly a decade, and many community members and residents of the surrounding areas grieve for the loss of the community landmark.
Source: The Belfast Telegraph