The writing’s on the wall – graffiti in Ireland

The Drogheda Graffiti Jam of 2012

The Drogheda Graffiti Jam of 2012

Hopping a fence and scrambling down the overgrown banks of the river Boyne by the side of a bridge in Drogheda is an unusual activity for a hazy Sunday afternoon. A cloying smell of spray paint hits about half-way down, as three young be-hoodied pups, taking it in turns to cover a side wall with colour, look up and then carry on with the task at hand.

Under the Bridge of Peace, groups of older lads are having a smoke as they contemplate their work. On both sides of the river, the gigantic internal supports of the bridge are covered in half-completed large-scale graffiti work. At the foot of the walls are dozens of cans of spraypaint; ladders and pulleys rest against the stone-work.

It’s the annual Bridge Jam in Drogheda, the biggest event in the Irish graffiti calendar. It is a highlight of the year for the Co Louth town and one of the longest-running and most reputable events in the world of international graffiti. The Jam is organised by RASK, the ‘godfather of Irish graffiti’. He had chuckled at the description a few days earlier, saying that, having recently turned 40, he was more like the grandfather of Irish graffiti.

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