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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Down with that sort of thing

Here's what's in the defaced poster dossier the No campaign are handing to gardaí

Spokesperson Tom Finnegan said these incidents have been hurting the No campaign financially.

THE GROUP RUNNING the No campaign for the same-sex marriage referendum has today released a ‘dossier’ with examples of incidents around the country in which its posters have been either defaced or taken down.

Mothers and Fathers Matter will be handing the dossier over to gardaí to investigate. It contains 29 pages of examples from YouTube videos, tweets, Facebook posts and photos taken by the group themselves in various locations.

Some show the ‘No’ replaced with a ‘Yes’ or just crossed out completely.

Others pictures show the posters have been slashed or cut up:

And there are also examples of people encouraging people to take down posters or mobilising groups do it:

Speaking to today as the the group replaced a poster in Merrion Square, Dublin, Dr Tom Finnegan of Mothers and Fathers matter said:

It’s unfair, it debases public debate, people should have the opportunity to see and learn about the issues that affect the referendum – that’s what posters help do.

Finnegan said he does not know what some Yes campaigners are “so afraid of” as his group is happy to debate the issues in public at any time.

Hundreds of posters around the country have now been interfered with in some way and it is starting to put a financial strain on the campaign, which is entirely reliant on public donations.

It does really hurt the campaign, that’s probably the intention behind it but it’s unnecessary – go out and debate the issues if you’ve got a problem with it.

“Irish people have donated money to the campaign in order to have us put up posters. The posters themselves costs thousands of euro, so it’s unfair on those people as well who’ve given up their own funds.”

Finnegan also said today the campaign is worried about the way the gardaí have been “politicising this campaign”.

An Garda Síochána recently had to apologise after a photocall organised by the Yes Equality group was held at a garda station. The Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents more than 10,000 rank-and-file gardaí has also come out publicly in support of the Yes vote.

“It doesn’t create an awful lot of confidence on our side that things will be investigated properly,” Finnegan said. “I hope things will be looked into properly because it is a criminal offence, it is illegal and a matter of grave public importance at the same time.”

Read: No campaign says ‘Yes’ victory could see babies left ‘deliberately motherless’>

Read: ‘It is appalling that the GRA has come out in favour of a Yes vote’>

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