PMAC remove graffiti from Dublin bridges

By Published On: July 5th, 2018
MacMahon Bridge - Docklands Volunteer Day 2018

Graffiti removal from Dublin bridges

We have been responsible over the past 15 years for the restoration and maintenance for the many bridges in Dublin that cross our rivers and canals. We are the only trusted contractor to remove graffiti for Dublin City Council from the many stone bridges throughout Dublin and beyond… As a heritage contractor with over 20 years experience of cleaning and restoring stone, we are well aware of the appropriate methods required to remove graffiti without causing damage to the stone. When possible, we also apply anti-graffiti coatings in order to help remove future tagging. As a specialist stone restoration company however, we go beyond graffiti removal duties, we provide a range of other services to Dublin City Council, including stone re pointing, restoration of cappings and balusters, cleaning and repairing of lettering, and many other services.

Removing Graffiti from bridges

When we get an enquiry for graffiti removal, the first thing we analyse is the type of surface we are dealing with. Protected surfaces require special treatments and different methods. We can use poultices on surfaces where the graffiti has penetrated deeply into the pores of the stone.
When possible, we apply an anti-graffiti coat to the surface. We are strongly committed to sourcing the best anti-graffiti products on the market as this technology is constantly developing and changing.
The most effective way to prevent further graffiti is to clean it up quickly. Stone bridges are great magnets for vandals, once we started removing graffiti from bridges the number of requests decreased significantly.

How much does Graffiti removal cost?

The price to remove graffiti will vary according to the surface, penetration and accessibility. We remove graffiti for both public and private clients, callouts are subject to a minimum fee of €220 & VAT. Another important aspect to be considered when pricing is location. Sometimes we have to start very early in the morning or late at night in order to cause minimal disruption and to ensure the safety of the public and our crew. All our graffiti removal operatives are fully trained, using the latest technology and cleaning methods. We have the resources to respond rapidly and effectively to all call outs, prioritising offensive graffiti.

PMAC restores bridges in Dublin

Many of our bridges are protected structures and require special care. We assess each job to determine the best cause of action to restore the bridge and ensure its conservation for generations to come. The most useful diagnostic tool is close range visual inspection and hands-on assessment of visible defects. Specifications are analysed, planned and strictly followed by our operatives. When necessary, we repoint and replace missing pointing. Our specialised team provide samples to be matched with existing protected surfaces. We use expert methods of fixing stainless steel components to cap stones.

Ha’penny Bridge

P Mac Dublin ISO accreditation

The pedestrian bridge was built in May 1816 over the river Liffey. Before the cast iron bridge was built, there were seven ferries operated by Willian Walsh. Due to their bad condition, Walsh was informed he had to either fix them or build a bridge. He didn’t think twice and chose the latter option. For a 100 years he was allowed to extract a ha’penny toll from anyone crossing the bridge. Over this century, the toll increased to a penny-ha’penny, dropped only in 1919. Renovations were essential as the years passed by, in 2001 the bridge had 27,000 pedestrians crossing every day. The bridge was closed for renovations and reopened the same year, sporting its original white colour.

We are responsible for keeping the bridge white. We’re also responsible for removing the love locks from the bridge on a regular basis. This may seem like a harmless worldwide phenomenon but the locks are actually causing damage to the iron structure.

Restoration at Annesley Bridge

Annesley bridge crosses the river Tolka in Fairview. Here we washed both bridge elevations down to the top of cut waters. We also cleaned all railings and the Portland Stone piers. We applied an anti-graffiti coating to the stone piers to make it easier to remove graffiti in the future without the need for harsh chemicals which can be damaging to the stone.

Once complete we carefully re painted the faded gold lettering.

Samuel Beckett Bridge, the Irish harp

What has become one of the most iconic fixtures in Dublin’s new docklands area is the Samuel Beckett bridge. It was built in 2009, designed by the artist, architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava. The bold design was inspired by the shape of a harp and it is supported by 31 cable stays. The white colour of the bridge brings a bright look to the docklands area and the bridge can be seen from miles away. We are called upon on a regular basis to remove graffiti from this magnificent structure and to maintain its dazzling white colour.

Our dear neighbour, Harold’s Cross bridge

Robert Emmet Bridge is an elliptical arch with rendered spandrels and string course bridge over the Grand Canal. We routinely carry out specialist cleaning to the walls, inset panels, balusters, and rendered handrail. We have repaired damaged and worn balusters and capping and ensure the limestone plaque is kept clean.

La Touch bridge or Portobello bridge

Built in 1791, this bridge was named after Willian Diggers La Touch and is the charming red bridge linking Portobello to Rathmines. The ruby red lanes need a professional wash from time to time. We applied an anti-graffiti coat to this bridge, meaning that all reoccurring graffiti can simpley be removed with water. The application of an anti-graffiti coat saves significant money in the long term.

Luas bridge – Charlemont station

A concrete frame supports the pair of deep beams that reaches the water. Crossing the Grand Canal between Charlemont Place and Grand Parade, the bridge has a sheltered platform at the centre to protect populace. We clean this bridge on a regular basis mainly removing graffiti.

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Artwork at bridges

Ironically, we spend a lot of our time removing graffiti from Dublin’s bridges but at MaMahon bridge in the Docklands we were instrumental in covering the bridge with bright graffiti style artwork. This was done in connection with Dublin City Council and Docklands volunteer Day. Dublin Docklands Business Forum organises an annual community clean up scheme to enhance the local community. Volunteers who work in the many Companies now predominant in the area offer their services. The painting of the bridge was the brainchild of Dublin City Council. We prep the bridge prior to Volunteer’s day removing all graffiti and faded paint leaving a white canvas for the volunteers to paint. The drawing is usually made by a graffiti artist and the volunteers spend the day adding colours and life to the bridge once again.

Waldron bridge on Orwell Road also benefited from an artistic enhancement by graffiti artist Dan Irwin. This project aims to discourage vandals to use walls to send depreciated messages. After removing all graffiti, we left a white canvas for the artist and the colours make the walls an attractive view for the community.

There are over 65 bridges over the Liffey, Tolka, and Dodder. There are over 67 bridges on the Grand and Royal Canal.

We are proud to enhance the environment by ensuring these bridges remain pretty, functional and retain their value to the community for generations to come and conserve our heritage.

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Get in touch

If you are working on a similar project we would love to hear about it. Dont hesitate to call us or send in the details of your project through our contact page at

PMAC is a registered Heritage Contractor and a link for the site can be found below.

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