Photo by Caroline McNally

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If you noticed artists decorating traffic-signal boxes last summer and wished you were among them, there’s a second chance for you to get involved.

Another 50 boxes are due to be painted in the coming months and Dublin Canvas, the organisation that has been making it happen, is now taking submissions from artists.

They’re still settling on which specific boxes will be painted, but the plan right now is that they will be spread out over Dublin Central, Dublin South East, Dublin North Central and Dublin North, said David Murtagh, the project coordinator.

You’ll find them in places outside of the city centre, like Ballymun and Terenure.

For the first round, last sumer, the reception was great, and the project worked with artists from all walks of life, Murtagh said: students, a retired lawyer, all sorts of people.

There have been some issues with vandalism of painted boxes, some tagging, but Murtagh says he doesn’t want to dwell on that. “Some people create and some people like to destroy,” he said.

For artists interested in coming up with ideas to submit, there are a few dos and don’ts, said Murtagh.

The design should draw inspiration from the area where it will be. And there are some things that artists should stay away from, he said: “Like large areas, you couldn’t have a landscape with a big sky, somebody’s gonna draw something on it, you know.”

“But generally it’s just colour in the city,” Murtagh said. Dublin Canvas provides the materials.

Murtagh has other ideas in the pipeline that he’s looking to pursue, like doing larger-scale murals, or making the historical cast-iron gas networks more beautiful.

The deadline to submit your idea for painting a traffic-signal control box is 18 April. If you’ve got the itch, make sure you read the guidelines.

Lois Kapila is Dublin Inquirer's editor and general-assignment reporter. Want to share a comment or a tip with her? Send an email to her at

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  1. Hi,
    I’m just noticing now that I’ve missed the deadline, just wondering are there any unclaimed boxes still available?

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