The South Kildare Labour Party is this week facing a possible fine over a 2008 Lisbon Treaty referendum poster that was, at the time of writing, still flying high in Greenhills Estate in Athy.
Despite the second referendum of the Lisbon Treaty four years ago, the Labour Party in South Kildare has allegedly overlooked one poster. Slightly weathered-looking and stained, the poster is still very legible.
However Kildare South TD Jack Wall said he finds it “unbelievable” that a poster would stay on a pole for such a long period without being noticed by his party. He is adamant someone put it up recently. “I know nothing about it. I would be amazed if the poster was displayed for four years without it being brought to my attention, someone must have put it up,” he said.
Speaking to the Leader, spokesperson for Kildare County Council, Annette Aspell said it has responsibility to issue fines for election or referendum posters that remain in place. The Litter Act legislation requires political parties and candidates to remove posters seven days after the vote. The Lisbon Labour Party poster has allegedly been in place over 1,400 days.
Ms Aspell admitted that Kildare County Council does not have the resources to monitor election or referendum posters. It relies on members of the public to report such matters.
“The onus is on the candidate or the party to take the poster down and then proceedings to the courts and fines follow,” she added.
Deputy Wall reiterated he was surprised that the poster was still tagged to a pole in the Greenhills Estate in Athy.
“The only conclusion I can come to is someone put it up. It’s unbelievable. I really haven’t a clue. The Labour Party gets a lot of support in the Greenhills Estate, every second home is Labour and I’d imagine someone would ring up.” Asked why someone would maliciously put up a four-year-old poster he said, “I haven’t a clue”, adding it will be taken down and disposed of immediately.