Where's Wally? Portlaoise politician takes a novel approach to election posters

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

posters

Noel Tuohy and supporters take novel approach to election campaigning

A Laois local election candidate has taken a novel approach to highlight what he believes is the wasteful use of posters in Irish elections.

Cllr Noel Tuohy also believes political parties are playing catch-up with public opinion on election posters. The Labour Party candidate lined out with supporters sporting Noel Tuohy lookalike masks, as an alternative to posters, to help get his point across that there are plenty of alternatives to plastic posters.

"I have imposed my own election poster ban to show support and solidarity with those campaigning for a better environment, but we can only succeed in combating climate change for future generations if we do this together.

"As the slogan says, There is is no Planet B. There is only one planet and for that matter, only one Noel Tuohy and I'm asking voters to support them both come election day," quipped the Portlaoise councillor,

"Not for the first time, the political parties are way behind the curve of public opinion on the use of election posters," said Cllr Tuohy.

The retired prison officer repeated his call on all political parties to stop using corriboard election posters. Cllr Tuohy claims he was the first candidate in Laois to seek an outright ban on the use of plastic election posters. He says his motion at Laois County Council did not receive sufficient support or agreement.

The Portlaoise councillor has said that it is up to all the political parties nationally to agree to sign a pledge to ban election posters so that everyone is competing in the forthcoming local and European elections on a level playing pitch.

He said 11 towns in Laois have called for all candidates to desist from using election posters, though he added that the problem is that the request is not binding but voluntary.

"I am determined to stick to my commitment not to use these unsightly plastic posters. But it has much more to do than the optics and the gesture. These posters are not biodegradable and do lasting and permanent damage to our countryside, nature and the environment.

"It is astonishing how far behind the political parties nationally are on this issue in the face of such a public demand to ban posters, not just in Laois but across the whole country. It shows a lack of leadership for political parties to be complaining about littering, illegal dumping, climate change and the environment on one hand and then on the other to be using tens of thousands of plastic posters and cable ties for these elections.

"They are not just damaging to the visual amenity this summer when the work of the local tidy towns is at its height, and contrary to the nonsense that they are only up for a few weeks, these posters last for hundreds of years and so does the damage they cause to the environment," he said

Cllr Tuohy said that election posters date back to a time when there was one TV station and one radio station in the Republic and people had to wait for the daily newspaper to read the death notices.

Cllr Tuohy said there are countless other ways these days for all candidates to promote themselves, highlight their policies and ensure everyone knows they are contesting the elections.