The statue, designed by Vera Klute, was unveiled on the same day as another statue of Luke Kelly , after calls to memorialise the singer in his hometown.
Throughout the statue’s short existence, there have been a number incidents involving the statue being vandalised. In July 2020, the 7th incident of defacement resulted in a 40-year-old man being charged with vandalism. These repeat incidents have raised questions regarding the statues location, which have included suggestions to relocate it to a more public area.
LUKE KELLY SCULPTURE AT GUILD STREET IN DUBLIN DOCKLANDS I USED AN iPHONE 12 PRO MAX AND ProRaw
Sadly this has been vandalised many times.
Two Luke Kelly statues were unveiled on the same day in Dublin and this is the one that I like best.
Lord Mayor Christy Burke commissioned a Luke Kelly statue for the Sheriff Street area of Dublin. A competition was organised and Vera Klute’s proposal was selected. According to a local priest (who I met while photographing the area just before the statue was unveiled) it was only a matter of weeks before it would vandalised and unfortunately he was correct. The statue on Sheriff Street [Guild Street] was discovered one evening in June daubed in black paint but it was repaired within a few days.
Luke Kelly’s legacy and contributions to Irish music and culture have been described as “iconic” and have been captured in a number of documentaries and anthologies. The influence of his Scottish grandmother was influential in Kelly’s help in preserving important traditional Scottish songs such as “Mormond Braes”, the Canadian folk song “Peggy Gordon”, “Robert Burns”, “Parcel of Rogues”, “Tibbie Dunbar”, Hamish Henderson’s “Freedom Come-All-Ye”, and Thurso Berwick’s “Scottish Breakaway”.
The Ballybough Bridge in the north inner city of Dublin was renamed the Luke Kelly Bridge, and in November 2004 Dublin City Council voted unanimously to erect a bronze statue of Luke Kelly. However, the Dublin Docklands Authority subsequently stated that it could no longer afford to fund the statue. In 2010, councillor Christy Burke of Dublin City Council appealed to members of the music community including Bono, Phil Coulter and Enya to help build it.