A World War One sculpture in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green has been vandalised with red paint.
‘The Haunting Soldier’ statue represents a soldier returning from war and the six-metre-high installation, which is made from pieces of metal, was installed earlier this month to mark the centenary celebrations of the end of World War One.
Designed by Dorset-based artist and blacksmith Martin Galbavy, it is made from scraps of metal including horse shoes, spanners, car jacks and brake discs.
The sculpture was due to stand in the park until November 26.
In the early hours of this morning at 2am, red paint was thrown over it.
Gardai say they are investigating the criminal damage caused to the installation and are at the scene this morning which has been sealed off.
No arrests have been made so far.
Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan expressed her disappointment about the vandalism.
“This installation honours all those who died in the terrible suffering of World War One,” she said.
“It is incredibly moving and has been proved immensely popular.
There is no bravery in throwing paint at a statute in the middle of the night.
“My Department has been in touch with the OPW in relation to the damage and I understand that installation will be cleaned up today,” she said.
The Haunting Soldier is designed to evoke the fragility and suffering of those who survived the war and returned home to an uncertain and difficult future.
The ghostly figure, which was constructed by Chris Hannam of Dorset Forge and Fabrication, was brought to Ireland by Dublin-based solicitor Sabina Purcell, who discovered she had a family connection to those who served in the war