Posters are a bit of a tricky one, some people say they are completely necessary for an election but most agree that they are unsightly and don’t like them. More and more towns now enforce a ‘No Poster’ zone.
There has been a huge push from environmental groups to stop using the posters altogether. One candidate (Niall ‘Botty’ O Callaghan)
who ran a poster free campaign woke up to approximately 30 posters in his garden as some sort of weird protest to him not using posters. Niall has said that he will do his best to get each and every poster back to the owner so that they can dispose of them correctly.
We said that we would take a look at the most common questions about election posters and see what is required of the candidates now that the whole process is over.
Questions About Election Posters
How many days before an election can candidates erect posters?
Posters may only be erected for a certain specified time period before an election. This time period is either (a) 30 days before the poll date or (b) from the date the polling day order for the election has been made, whichever provides the shorter period of time.
Posters must be removed within 7 days of polling day. These requirements for election posters are set out under section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2009.
There is a requirement for candidates to remove all posters including any cable ties within 7 days of the poll. Failure to comply with these conditions constitutes an offence.
Can people park vehicles with election/referendum slogans printed on the side in free parking spots?
This is not an offence under the Litter Pollution Acts, however, section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 does make it an offence to place adverts (e.g. flyers) on mechanically propelled vehicles unless they are secured by mechanical means. This, for example, prohibits the placement of flyers under wiper blades.
Can local authorities remove posters?
Section 20 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 gives local authorities powers to serve notices on occupiers of property, visible from a public place, to remove advertisements, if it appears to the local authority that it is in the interests of amenity or of the environment of an area to do so.
What penalties are in place for breaches of the legislation governing election/referendum posters?
The responsibility for enforcement of litter law lies with the local authority. Any election/referendum posters in place before or after the stipulated timeframe are deemed to be in breach of the legislation and are subject to an on-the-spot litter fine of €150. Local authorities are also responsible for the removal of posters which constitute a hazard to either pedestrians or road users. Complaints about such posters should be made directly to the appropriate local authority stipulating their exact location to enable local authorities arrange for their removal.
Where can I find further information?
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
Phone: +353 (0)1 888 2424.
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Environment Policy and Awareness Section
Phone: +353 (0)1 6782099