Election poster campaign scales new heights

Posters have been spotted on Carrauntoohil in the McGillycuddy’s Reeks in Co Kerry

Election posters in Dublin; one candidate had to remove a poster covering traffic lights on Custom House Quay. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Election posters in Dublin; one candidate had to remove a poster covering traffic lights on Custom House Quay. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Fri, Apr 25, 2014, 01:00

How far will local election candidates go to win your vote and themselves a seat? To the highest peak in the land it seems.

Posters of Kerry County Council hopefuls Danny and Johnny Healy-Rae have been spotted on Carrauntoohil in the McGillycuddy’s Reeks in Co Kerry.

The father-and-son team have been told the posters on the mountain need not be taken down until the election is over.

‘’There’s nothing against having posters up there as long as they are removed within seven days after polling,’’ said a Kerry County Council spokesman.

It is not certain when the posters were erected or by whom and yesterday both Healy-Raes said they had been too busy canvassing to climb the mountain.


Poster ban
One scenic area that won’t be blighted by election posters is Glenties in Co Donegal. The village, which has been national winner of the Tidy Towns competition a number of times, has banned posters, prompting some candidates, including Donegal County Council vice-chairman Cllr Michael McBride, to run “poster free” campaigns.

“I am firmly of the view that election posters represent both an eyesore and an annoyance to the general public at large; and this is all the more so in Ireland’s most scenic county, Donegal,” he said.

Meanwhile, candidates have been urged to “consider road safety” when they are erecting posters in the lead-up to the elections.

Mayo County Council’s road safety officer Noel Gibbons said he wished candidates the best of luck but warned them that mass postering can “have a negative visual impact on the general amenity of roads with possible safety implications for drivers and pedestrians”.

“Election candidates should consider road safety when they place any posters in areas which are crucial to road users such as on roundabouts, statutory road signs, directional signs, traffic light poles, stop or yield signs or other crucial areas,” he said.

Mr Gibbons said he had not yet received any reports of posters creating potential problems in his area since they were allowed to be erected on Wednesday and that in most cases these things were “not intentional”.


Covering traffic lights
Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin said they had been contacted about posters deemed to be posing problems for motorists in Dublin and that the issues had been addressed.

Fianna Fáil TD and director of elections Timmy Dooley said the party had been contacted about a poster for Dublin European election candidate Mary Fitzpatrick obscuring a traffic light on Custom House Quay.

“These things happen from time to time,” he said, adding that the party would address any such issues when notified.

A number of candidates and parties are facing fines for putting up posters before it was permitted to do so from 12am on Wednesday.

Fingal County Council said that it had begun the process of issuing fines for the early erection of election posters but the €150 penalties cannot be issued until after the closing date for nominations passes on May 3rd.