Strabane 'IRA library' graffiti removed

Published Thursday, 19 September 2013
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IRA graffiti which was 're-worked' to promote visiting the library has been removed, just days after causing a huge online stir.

Strabane 'IRA library' graffiti removed
The graffiti appeared on a building in Strabane. (© Brian McGilloway)

Thousands of people shared an image of a building in Strabane which had the words 'Join the IRA' scrawled on it in black paint - only for a mystery man to edit it to read 'Join the library' instead.
Derry-born author and English teacher Brian McGilloway was first to notice the graffiti and posted the picture on Twitter.

"Got to admire the Strabane kid with the cultural conscience who altered 'Join the IRA' graffiti to this," he said, adding that it had brightened up his week.

We've never had a better advertising campaign ...

Strabane Library

UTV later spoke to the man responsible for the literary twist, who confessed to not actually being a kid but rather a 28-year-old who was pushed into action by some rogue punctuation.

"I noticed the original graffiti on Tuesday and being a keen writer and grammar pedant, I was annoyed by the unnecessary apostrophe," Strabanksy said.

"Once I saw how library fit so nicely around the original tag, I felt compelled to change it.

"Strabane has an excellent library beside the Alley Theatre (I recently did a poetry reading there) - hopefully people take the advice and go and visit both premises."

Among the many responses were comments like "Books beat balaclavas" and "Pity there's not more like him".

But on Thursday, Brian McGilloway confirmed that the graffiti had been completely painted over.

"Like a Banksy, it should have been preserved," one Twitter user responded.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
cubby in strabane wrote (426 days ago):
what of all the other graffiti about Strabane for the RAAD and IRA that has been up for months if not years, no sign of it being painted over.
pip in belfast wrote (428 days ago):
“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everybody could draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it's wet.”  qoute for the anti graffiti sops who complain about everything
Curious in Irrelevant wrote (428 days ago):
I wonder if Mr McGilloway would be so full of admiration if someone spray-painted an opinion over his school, or home, for example.
DerryMan666 in In Derry wrote (429 days ago):
Jesus christ its just abita paint some crying people i must say and great work strabansky as well just too many crying people in this world great job keep up the good work
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