IT HAS BEEN quite the week for political posters in Ireland with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil having a bit of tit-for-tat with each other via the medium of great big billboards.
Fianna Fáil started it in midweek, with this ad taking aim at Enda Kenny’s 2007 election promise (and promotional leaflet) to “end the scandal of patients on trolleys”:
Micheál Martin denied at the time that the poster amounted to negative campaigning, saying: “Highlighting policy issues is not a negative campaign, negative campaigning is about targeting individuals”.
That’s as may be, but Fine Gael weren’t going to take it lying down.
The party bided its time, and then just as the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis chugged into view yesterday this reprisal-poster raised its head:
The image is of a ghost estate in Leitrim, with health minister Leo Varadkar saying that the ad is a timely reminder that Fianna Fáil “cannot be trusted to manage the economy”.
Now Sinn Féin, obviously growing tired of the other two sniping at each other, have launched an ad of their own, which takes aim at both Martin and Kenny’s parties, and specifically their health policies, in one fell swoop:
The poster differs slightly from its predecessors in that it directly advertises Sinn Féin’s own health policy (or at least a link to that policy), but there is still a common element of political point-scoring with the Fine Gael kettle calling the Fianna Fáil pot black. It’s a clever idea though.
It seems unlikely that this will be the last barb-via-poster the electorate will see over the course of the few weeks building up to the general election – Labour have yet to have their say for starters.
Whatever comes next should be interesting.