There are many levels of stupidity, just as there are many levels of arrogance, but I’m not sure I have ever seen such a combination of complete stupidity and complete arrogance as I saw yesterday, when I discovered that a memorial to a greatly-loved man had been defaced.
Nine years ago, the friends of Jock Hunter designed and constructed a small monument in his memory, a little block, made of white concrete into which is mixed a portion of his ashes. At its centre is his urn, and in the urn there are various mementoes: photographs, letters, a pouch of tobacco and cigarette papers, a small bottle of whiskey, some bookie slips and a pen. Everything Jock would need for the sort of afterlife befitting the kind of man he was.
The concrete was sparkling white, but it was craggy and banded with three-quarter-inch copper pipe to signify what a terrible plumber Jock was in his final days.
Here it is.
The block stood for nine years outside Limerick’s White House pub, unmolested until this week when some fool defaced it.
This is not a joke.
Some utter imbecile, some half-wit, some moron, some fool, some gobshite, some dolt, some clod, some donkey, some pinhead decided it would look better painted.
Some arrogant, insensitive, overbearing cretin turned this …
Into this …
Now, I have no doubt that some people will say it looks better painted, and they’re fully entitled to their opinion. However, the tosser who arranged to paint Jock’s Block failed to ask permission before imposing their Coronation Street standard of aesthetics on the memorial and that’s arrogance, as well as stupidity.
Why is it stupidity?
Because we have clear CCTV footage of the person who painted the block, between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on Tuesday morning, the 15th July. He’s a man of medium height, slim build, wearing track pants, runners, a yellow high-visibility sleeveless vest and a baseball cap. His face is clearly identifiable in several shots. He’s a smoker and he has a distinctive tattoo at his right elbow, which will be passed around the tattoo artists for identification.
He was thorough, suggesting he’s used to doing this sort of work and he was careful, since he even brought a sheet of cardboard to protect the footpath from drips.
I don’t know if this man was simply hired by someone else to deface the memorial. For all I know, he acted in good faith, thinking it was just another painting job, and therefore I won’t accuse him of vandalism. However, I understand that a formal complaint of criminal damage has been made to the Gardai and I imagine this man will at the very least be arrested and questioned, since he appears not only on the White House CCTV but also on the public cameras and on those of the neighbouring businesses.
If he’s simply an innocent tradesman who was hired to do a job, it would be very much in his interest to come forward. No further action will be taken against him provided he explains the circumstances of how he ended up destroying a well-regarded cultural artifact on the Limerick streetscape.
The defacement of Jock’s Block is not simply an attack on the piece itself. It’s also an assault on the only tangible memorial Jock Hunter has in this world and is therefore, in my opinion, equivalent to desecrating a grave.
Previously: Jock Hunter