Candidates fined more than €30,000 for breaking election poster rules

Dublin City Council issued 232 fines for material put up too early or left up too long

Dublin City Council issued more than €30,000 in fines to election candidates who broke the rules on putting up posters around the recent local and European elections.

The council said it issued 232 fines to candidates who either put their posters up too early or failed to take them down soon enough after polling day.

Candidates found to have broken litter rules on election posters faced fines of €150 per poster. The council said GDPR regulations barred them from releasing the names of the candidates who were fined.

Posters can only be erected 30 days before polling day, which for both the local and European elections was May 24th. They must be removed within seven days of polling day.

The city council is considering restricting the number of election posters used by candidates. The first meeting of a special council sub-committee to look at the question of election posters met last month.

There is apparently broad support for having restrictions in place in time for the next local elections in 2024. Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe said a possible scheme would be to limit each candidate to two posters at a number of fixed locations determined by the council.

Election candidates in Dublin used an estimated 300 - 400 posters each during the last local election campaign.

Sinn Féin councillor Chris Andrews proposed a motion passed by the full council in September to cap the number of election posters and to require them to be biodegradable. He there was no desire to introduce an outright ban on election material. “But we need some form of regulation and some restrictions. The reasons are obvious,” said in September.