SOCIALIST PARTY MEP Paul Murphy has been forced to take down some of his election posters after he erected them before he was legally allowed to do so.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has told Murphy he must remove posters but has not told him if he faces being fined for putting them up early.
The Dublin MEP, who is seeking re-election to the European Parliament on 23 May, had been spotted putting up posters around the capital this weekend and confirmed this morning that a few hundred had gone up in the last 24 hours.
TheJournal.ie has received dozens of reports of candidates’ posters being prematurely erected in the last 24 hours with Murphy prominent among them.
Those running in the local and European elections are not legally allowed to erect their election posters until tomorrow with many set to scale lampposts across the country at around midnight tonight.
Murphy said that only authorities in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown have so far told him to remove the posters in its area.
Earlier, the MEP defended his decision, saying it was a response to rival Fianna Fáil candidate Mary Fitzpatrick putting up posters over the weekend - a move she said was a result of new volunteers.
“Mary Fitzpatrick had stared putting up her posters and we didn’t want to be at a disadvantage,” he said. “I think we felt we had no choice. We’re not going to sit at home and not get our posters up.”
Murphy’s decision means he is in breach of Dublin City Council protocols and the Litter Pollution Act 1997, putting him at risk of fines of up to €150 for each poster.
But he said he does not expect to receive a large number of fines, nor does he think it will bother voters when they go to the polls.
“They have gone up 24 hours earlier than is permitted, so we’ll see. We’ll be asking the councils to demonstrate some leniency.”“I think the number of people who are going to determine how they vote because of posters going up a little bit early, you are talking about 10 or 20 people in the city.”
Murphy said that the Socialist Party is not one of “law and order” citing examples where it has broken what it believes are “unjust laws” although he said this does not apply in this case.
However, he added: “I don’t think people will be bothered by it.”
First published 9.05am
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