Launch posters not 'election posters'


The chairman of Portlaoise Tidy Towns says it is inappropriate for politicians to erect campaign posters before the General Election is called.

Cllr Jerry Lodge did not comment on any specific posters but disagreed with early campaigning.

"I don' think it's appropriate to be putting them up so early. It puts the Tidy Towns under pressure not to allow a proliferation of posters around the town.

"I would expect people who should know better not to be littering, when the election is called is time enough," he said.

A host of posters were erected in Portlaoise last week promoting the General Election launch of Labour Party's candidate John Whelan.

Under Litter Pollution Laws there are restrictions on election posters being erected.

The Department of the Environment website states that posters may only be erected for a certain specified time period before an election. This time period is either (a) 30 days before the poll date or (b) from the date the polling day order for the election has been made, whichever provides the shorter period of time.

However Sen Whelan claimed that the posters are not 'election posters'.

“I want to clarify that the posters erected at the weekend in the Portlaoise area are not general election posters. They are posters promoting a public meeting event and have been erected with the full permission and knowledge of Laois County Council, who have authority and control in this regard”.

He said the law permits the erection of posters promoting meetings within a specified time frame, before and after, when they have to be removed. After the public meeting, these posters will also be taken down accordingly. He claimed it is something that all political parties are doing around the country.

“I fully commend the work that Cllr Lodge and others do on an ongoing basis in terms of Tidy Towns. I also share a strong interest and track record on environmental issues. In general, I think election posters are unsightly and would gladly desist from erecting posters if Jerry Lodge can arrange this with Sean Fleming and the other general election candidates. I have offered to do so in the past but to no avail.

“Also, posters can be offensive for different reasons. Such as the ones Jerry Lodge erected for three general elections in a row, over 15 years promising five new primary schools, none of which his party subsequently built when they got into Government. This task was left to the current Government,” he said,