Skip to content

Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

A scene in Dublin during the 2016 general election.
A scene in Dublin during the 2016 general election.

And they're off! Local election posters spring up hours early - some want to rip them down already

We’re getting closer to voting day.
Apr 23rd 2019, 9:30 PM 27,057 69

THE LOCAL AND European elections take place on 24 May this year, in case you hadn’t heard, and we’re all about to become accustomed with the faces of those who want your vote. 

You’ll see their mugs when you walk out your door, you’ll see beaming smiles looking down on you as you go about your daily business. You might end up fancying a few of them. You might have nightmares about them.

Depending on where you’re living, they could be the first face you wake up to and the last you see before falling asleep.

That’s perfectly okay. But there are some who feel that there’s a certain line you just can’t cross.

Electoral laws dictate that candidates are legally allowed to erect posters from midnight tonight, precisely 30 days before we head to the polls.

But that hasn’t stopped some from appearing on our lampposts this afternoon. 

Prospective councillors and MEPs have already been beating down the doors, looking for your number one vote. Most come armed with stacks and stacks of leaflets, their airbrushed faces emblazoned across the front. 

But it seems there are some canvassers who didn’t do their maths correctly and ended up erecting posters a day early. 

Now, the cynic among us might say that the posters were placed to get one up on opponents, but with mere hours to go (midnight tonight) until you’re allowed hang them up, you’d forgive a forgetful candidate’s maths skills. 

Posters belonging to Fine Gael, Social Democrats and Independent candidates have been seen sprouting up along north Dublin this afternoon.

Whilst there may be mere hours to go before the electioneering can kick up a notch, the press offices of the country’s biggest parties are copy and pasting their outrage to journalists informing them that the other team is being mean. 

If a poster going up nine hours early is the worst we get over the next month, then we can count ourselves lucky.

While there’s been a lot of fighting about the benefit of the electoral posters, there are those who think that they should be a thing of the past and that the environment will thank us in the long run. 

While the fighting has kicked off on social media, there are those who have decided against any form of electoral posters. 

In fact, 91 candidates across the country have so far agreed not to erect election posters in their areas.

It represents 16% of all the tidy town entrants from 2018 and it is now calling for a national voluntary ban to ensure a nationwide poster free election. 

Corrugated plastic, commonly known as Corriboard is the material of choice for election posters, but take more than 400 years to biodegrade. 

According to campaign site “In the 2014 local elections, 2038 candidates ran for 949 seats.”

No more posters

To try to solve this problem and to give all candidates a fair shake,  a new website called has been launched by NoteCloud, a small technology company based in Tralee. The website aims to make it easier for voters to find out about the candidates contesting the elections.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

NoteCloud founder Brian Stephenson said his firm is involved in a number of environment and community clean-up projects locally and the issue of election posters has been raised more than once.

“We decided to try to solve this by building a user-friendly online directory and inviting candidates to create profiles and give a little info about themselves and their ideas,” he said.

Posters have also drawn the ire of some of south Dublin’s stricter tidy towns groups.

The Dalkey Tidy Towns committee came in for criticism on social media and from a number of local election candidates over an email that was sent out to some candidates from its main account. 

The email contained a map with a red line marking the town boundary of Dalkey. The text alongside the map states:

NO POSTERS within this RED LINE. will be tolerated… NO POSTERS in DALKEY any put up will be removed & destroyed ASAP

The email itself also states that Dalkey is an election poster-free zone and repeats the statement that “All posters will be removed & destroyed ASAP”. 

However, when it was informed that it was in fact illegal to take these posters down, the committee said that it had misworded the email and would not be removing them.

Love them or hate them, the posters are here for the next month (and a bit longer afterwards). So, just do what we do best – wait for the local children to deface them with funny plays on candidates’ names. 

With reporting by Cormac Fitzgerald 

Send a tip to the author

Garreth MacNamee


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top