A mural of US President Joe Biden in Ballina, Co Mayo appears to have been defaced with red paint, while “Genocide Joe" was scrawled across a portion of it.
Photos of the graffiti circulated on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday, November 17.
One post on X that shows the defaced mural has been viewed more than 33 thousand times:
Mural of Joe Biden vandalised in Ballina— Ah Ref! (@RefComeOn) November 17, 2023
Genocide Joe wrote under it. pic.twitter.com/VdpvnxdHY2
Another, later post shows the defaced Biden mural from a different angle:
IrishCentral understands the photos of the mural were taken on Friday morning. One person claimed that the person who did the graffiti had been arrested and that the local county council had already cleaned up the mural.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told IrishCentral on Friday that there were "no incidents recorded on our system at this time matching this description."
Ballina Municipal District has also been contacted by IrishCentral for comment.
The graffiti on the mural in Co Mayo comes not long after a separate mural of Biden in Dundalk, Co Louth was similarly defaced:
Biden mural in Dundalk vandalised https://t.co/iDxnsJMkyP— Louth Live Dundalk Democrat (@DundalkDemocrat) November 2, 2023
The mural of President Biden in Ballina, created by Padraig “'Smiler” Mitchell and Leslie Lackey, was unveiled in September 2020, not long before the US Presidential election.
A giant mural depicting the US Presidential candidate Joe Biden is being unveiled in Ballina, Co Mayo, this evening. Mr Biden has links to the area and has visited on a number of occasions in recent years. | Read more: https://t.co/xhWk3oKsry pic.twitter.com/mHtEmD1G52— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 4, 2020
In Ballina, Co Mayo, the Irish American President was treated to a rousing reception where he delivered a speech in front of St. Muredach's Cathedral, where his great-great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt sold 27,000 bricks to in 1827.
I’m shipping up to Ballina. pic.twitter.com/Mp4LpakSJV— President Biden (@POTUS) April 15, 2023
However, the sentiment toward Biden in Ireland may now be shifting, as evidenced in part by the defaced murals, as well as recent debates in Dáil Éireann.
Biden is facing scrutiny for his reaction to the war in Gaza, where, according to UNRWA on Wednesday, November 15, more than 11,078 people - two-thirds women and children - have been killed since October 7.
(UNRWA noted that due to the collapse of the Ministry of Health services and communications in the North, casualty data had not been updated for the previous five days.)
Overall, around 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli Authorities, the vast majority on October 7.
Also on Wednesday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas and for urgent and extended humanitarian corridors throughout the enclave to save and protect civilian lives.
The United States, along with Russia and the UK, abstained from the vote that ultimately passed when 12 other council members voted in favor.
The same day the UN Security Council passed the resolution, politicians in Ireland debated a Social Democrats' motion for the Irish government to withdraw diplomatic status from the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland and push for the imposition of EU-wide economic sanctions on Israel.
During Wednesday's debate in the Dáil, Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said in part: "The US is one of Israel's strongest supporters, committed to funding and arming its defence, but this is going beyond defence.
"It was appalling to hear the US President, Mr. Biden, say he hopes for less intrusive action on a hospital. Hospitals should be beyond attack.
"Despite the US support, the US envoy, Mr. Antony Blinken, came back from his most recent visit empty-handed. What will be the consequences that will change Israel's behaviour?"
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett further said in the debate: "Shame on the United States, shame on Britain, shame on the European Union and shame on this Government for continuing to give Israel impunity while it carries out a genocide and a massacre on the people of Gaza."
Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae said: "I condemn Biden because I believe he could stop it. One word from him and he could stop it. It is sad to think that so many lives are being lost."
The Social Democrats' motion was ultimately defeated.