The Molly Malone statue in Dublin city centre has been vandalised for a third time in two months.
The bronze statue on Suffolk Street had green writing scrawled across its chest with the words “Please don’t, TY [thank you]” on Sunday.
Last month, black paint was twice daubed in separate incidents on the statue’s chest. On one of the occasions the phrase, “7 Years Bad Luck” appeared.
Dublin City Council, which looks after monuments across the city centre, had to have the bronze plating repaired on that occasion.
The statue is popular with tourists who are encouraged to rub the statue’s chest for good luck by travel guides. The vandalism may be related to local opposition to the practice.
A former lord mayor has called on the council to move the statue.
Dublin north inner city Independent Cllr Christy Burke said: “Molly Malone statue has now been spray painted three times over the past few months. It’s time to change the location of the statue.”
He said the council needs to move the statue to a more “secure spot”. Cllr Burke believes the grounds of Mansion House on Dawson St would be a “safe location” due to it being a busy area and where there are “numerous” CCTV cameras.
The statue first appeared 35 years ago on Grafton Street in 1988 but was later moved to Suffolk Street to make way for Luas line configurations.
Gardaí said they had “no statement” on the vandalism and that “Dublin City Council should be able to provide information on this”.