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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 27 September 2020

Dublin City Council explains sandwich board sweep in Temple Bar today

Protecting the public or stifling SMEs?

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is facing criticism in some quarters today after removing sandwich board advertising from the streets of the Temple Bar district earlier today.

A council truck confiscated sandwich boards belonging to a number of businesses in the area, and a spokesperson for DCC later claimed that owners had been warned to remove them in advance.

Twitter user Tony Duncan was unimpressed after seeing a DCC vehicle on Crow Street in Temple Bar earlier today, carrying confiscated sandwich boards.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told TheJournal.ie this afternoon that the confiscation of the 17 sandwich boards was legal and proper.

The ad boards referred to are unauthorised under Section 71 of the Roads Act 1993. Dublin City Council issued 80 notices to business owners in Temple Bar on the 2nd September 2014.
This notice informed the owners that the ad boards are unauthorised and must be removed. If not, Dublin City Council would removed them.
Owners were told that a collection of anauthorised ad boards would take place on or around 10th September.

The boards removed today are now being stored at a council depot and business-owners can get them back after paying €63 per item, “up to a maximum of €190.”

The spokesperson added that this information has been sent to the business-owners in question.

‘Disturbing the beauty of our city’

David Brennan, CEO of the Dublin City Business Association (DCBA), told TheJournal.ie today that he sympathises with small businesses trying to advertise themselves to the public.

However, street advertising such as sandwich boards and finger sign men can harm the city’s overall image, he added.

We are a capital city endeavouring to boost tourism, and we need Dublin to look as well as it possibly can.
So, in the main, the DCBA supports the removal of anything that disrupts the civic space or disturbs the beauty of our city.

Elections Results Councillor Mannix Flynn Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

In a question to Dublin City Chief Executive Owen Keegan last week, as part of the Dublin South East committee of DCC, Councillor Mannix Flynn described the prevalence of ad boards and street furniture as “intolerable and unacceptable.”

Substantial numbers of restaurants, pubs, shops, etc… are simply placing more obstacles, chairs, tables, sandwich boards, vending machines etc… on the footpath.
Indeed many streets are impassable for mothers with prams or buggies, people in wheelchairs, walking aids or the visually impaired.

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Keegan revealed that DCC took in €430,975 last year from 127 licences for street furniture such as tables and chairs.

In recent weeks, Keegan said, DCC agents have removed furniture from outside three businesses which had license, but were deemed to have breached the conditions of that licence.

So far this year, 32 Dublin city businesses with tables and chairs outside were ordered to apply for licences, he said.

What do you think: should small businesses be allowed to advertise on the street? Or are sandwich boards an obstacle and nuisance to the public?

Poll Results:

No, keep our streets clear of clutter (3118)
Yes, let small businesses advertise on the street (2617)

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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