A mural featuring lyrics from a song by Derry punk legends The Undertones has been removed from a flyover in Belfast.
The lyrics, “Teenage dreams, so hard to beat,” are from the band’s debut single, ‘Teenage Kicks’.
The song – considered by many Derry people to be a modern day anthem – hit the headlines in 1978 when BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played the song twice in a row on his show.
Peel passed away in 2004 and the mural appeared on the flyover the day after he died.
In 2008, a headstone engraved with the lyrics was placed on his grave.
The Department of Social Development (DSD) – which ordered the removal of the graffiti – says it will look at funding the cost of a new mural.
In a statement, DSD said it was currently undertaking a £300,000 improvement scheme in the area.
The original mural was put up by the T.D.S. Graffiti Crew in east Belfast and one of their members said he was pleased it had lasted for nine years.“It grew far bigger than it was ever intended, but that is down to the lyrics and what they stand for,” he said.
Terri Hooley, the man behind the recording of ‘Teenage Kicks’, said he was surprised.
“I’m actually stunned – I can’t believe it – they keep all the sectarian graffiti in this city,” he said. “This does not reflect the city I adore and love. We want to represent the positive, celebrate the rich musical history we have.”
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