Poster battle as election nears

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A plea has gone out to candidates in north Kildare not to put election posters in Main Street in Maynooth during May.

A plea has gone out to candidates in north Kildare not to put election posters in Main Street in Maynooth during May.

In a statement Maynooth Tidy Towns Committee “respectfully” asked that all election candidates refrain from putting their election posters in the Main Street of Maynooth during the upcoming local and European elections.

The reason being is that Maynooth has been selected by the Dept of the Environment to participate in the Ireland`s Best Kept Town Competition. This is an All Island competition and judging will take place at any time during the month of May.”

Meanwhile, separately, concerns were raised at the County Council’s Kildare Area Committee meeting last Wednesday, 19 March, about candidates getting a head start over their rivals by putting up posters before the permitted deadline.

Cllr. Tony O’Donnell said he had seen posters for one particular candidate at the GAA grounds in Newbridge during the Kildare match on 16 March.

He saidthe posters appeared to be gone the next day. Cllr. O’Donnell said it was not fair on the other candidates and that there should be a level playing field for everyone involved.

A Council spokesperson said they had not received any reports of the incident and she said anyone who saw posters up before the deadline should contact Kildare County Council.

Council spokesperson, Annette Aspell, said that information as provided by the Department of the Environment says that posters can only be erected either 30 days before polling day or from the date of the polling day order - whichever is the shorter. “With regard to this years election, as the polling day order has now been signed (19 March 2014), posters can be displayed for a period commencing 30 days before polling day, which is 23 May.”

The Council can impose a €150 on the spot litter fine on anyone who breaches the rule and it can remove posters..

After the election, the posters must be removed within seven days.

A candidate would not breach the rules, however, if they bought space on designated commercial advertising billboards, before 23 April. They could also park a car in a free parking spot with a slogan on the side but not put flyers under the wiper blades.