SEVERAL POLITICIANS ILLEGALLY erected posters in their constituencies overnight in anticipation of the general election being called today with some now facing heavy fines.
Labour TD Joanna Tuffy is among those facing penalties after dozens of her posters were erected in parts of her Dublin Mid-West constituency.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan’s Fine Gael posters also appeared in parts of his Laois constituency.
The illegal erection was blamed on “over enthusiastic supporters”.
By law the erection of posters is forbidden until after the Dáil is dissolved and the polling order is signed for the general election.
Despite speculation, the election would be called today, the Taoiseach has since confirmed he will not seek the dissolution of the Dáil until tomorrow.
Candidates’ poster teams are poised to scale lampposts up and down the country in the coming days, but it appears some got ahead of themselves last night.
Several pictures of Tuffy’s election posters on lampposts in her constituency were posted on Twitter and sent to TheJournal.ie overnight:
Tuffy has not responded to a request for comment.
Candidates can face local authority fines of between €100 and €150 per poster for illegally erection outside the official election period.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Graham said he has complained to South Dublin County Council over the matter and understands fines will be issued to Tuffy as early as today. He said:
Legislation is not aspirational. Joanna as a national legislator should know better. This is flagrant disregard for not only legislation but for the views of her constituents.
Some of Tuffy’s constituency rivals in Dublin Mid-West have criticised the sitting TD. Independent councillor Paul Gogarty, formerly of the Greens, described it as “unsporting”. But he added that he was “not crying over it”, saying:
Love my neighbour Joanna so good luck to her. May the best candidate win this time and respect to those that come out to vote, whichever way.
Social Democrat candidate Anne-Marie McNally was less pleased, saying that she had spent considerable time organising poster teams and attaching cable ties to her posters.
“Then it all gets usurped by someone who does whatever she likes? Not cool,” she said.
We also received pictures of Labour councillor Pamela Kearns’s posters erected on lampposts in Dublin South-West, where she is running in the general election.
Kearns said she was “extremely angered” that some of her campaign team had put up the posters early and apologised on Twitter this morning:
Meanwhile, Kildare South Fine Gael candidate Fiona McLoughlin Healy confirmed that some of her posters had been erected yesterday but were covered with notices for a public meeting on Thursday.
However, pictures seen by TheJournal.ie show that some of these notices had been washed off - as happened with Renua TD Terence Flanagan in Dublin Bay North.
McLoughlin-Healy said she was checking her posters but claimed that election posters belonging to her Fianna Fáil rival, Fiona O’Loughlin, had been erected in the constituency for a number of days.
We’ve also received reports today of posters being erected early by Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil candidates in north Dublin.
Have you seen any premature poster erections in your area? Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Read: Wicklow village convinces politicians to keep the place a poster-free zone during the election