The Dublin City Business Improvement District has said graffiti is a major issue in the city and it expects to remove four times the amount of graffiti in 2014 than in 2010. 

CEO Richard Guiney said, "the amount of graffiti removed from walls in the retail core would fill the pitch in the Aviva Stadium twice over."

Mr Guiney was speaking following vandalism of the Molly Malone statue in Dublin this morning, which was unveiled just last week after restoration.

He said, "We are spending €125,000 per annum removing graffiti in Dublin city's retail core. Putting that in context, we could use that money to double the number of flower displays that we provide or install enhanced LED lighting on streets such as South William Street and Drury Street where there is a thriving evening economy. So there is a real cost to it."

The Molly Malone statue, which was given a new temporary home outside the Dublin Tourist Office on Suffolk Street while the Luas Cross City project takes place, had to be cleaned after it was defaced with graffiti.

Mr Guiney told RTÉ News At One that levels of graffiti are four times what they were four years ago.

He said that some people feel it is acceptable to deface other people's property but this is not the case.