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too early

Politicians were breaking the law all over Ireland last night

Before the Dáil was dissolved and the election called, some politicians started scaling lampposts a bit too early.

SEVERAL POLITICIANS’ CAMPAIGN posters were erected illegally across the country last night prior to the general election being called today.

By law it is illegal for candidates to put up their posters on lampposts until the Dáil is dissolved and the election polling order has been signed.

Department of Environment guidance clearly states:

Posters may only be erected for a certain specified time period before an election. This time period is either (a) 30 days before the poll date or (b) from the date the polling day order for the election has been made, whichever provides the shorter period of time.

In the case of this election, part (b) applies under under section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and the Electoral (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2009.

After the dissolution of the Dáil and calling of the election this morning, candidates are now permitted to put up their posters.

However, local authorities are likely to issue fines to those candidates whose posters were up before this morning’s events. Fines range between €100 and €150 per poster, with some candidates now facing thousands of euro worth of fines.

The law has been flouted by several sitting TDs, including Finance Minister Michael Noonan who is running for re-election in Limerick:

Fine Gael TD and government chief whip Paul Kehoe was also at it in Wexford:

It wasn’t just Fine Gael, Labour’s Communications Minister Alex White had his posters up early in Dublin-Rathdown:

Sinn Féin councillor Reada Cronin, who is running in Kildare North, spotted Labour whip Emmet Stagg’s posters being erected in the constituency:

But her own party was at it too with posters for Sinn Féin councillor Paul Donnelly erected in Dublin West:

Former Fianna Fáil senator Averil Power, who is running as an independent, erected her posters early in Dublin Bay North:

Fianna Fáil were also a bit early with Colm Keaveney’s posters erected in Galway East:

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Meanwhile, one of the Labour candidates whose posters went up on Monday night had, as of last night, failed to take down some of her posters.

Elsewhere, Labour TD Joanna Tuffy, who is facing heavy fines from South Dublin County Council for putting up dozens of posters on Monday night, claimed on Twitter that it was a “genuine mistake”.

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