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Fine Gael candidate defends putting up Christmas posters without permission

Stephanie Regan said the posters were an alternative to cards.

One of the posters in Howth
One of the posters in Howth
Image: Alan Bracken

STEPHANIE REGAN, A Fine Gael election candidate in Dublin Bay North, has defended Christmas posters she erected last week.

Regan told TheJournal.ie she put up about 15 posters in the constituency as an alternative to sending people Christmas cards.

She said there were three posters in Howth and no more than one or two in other areas of the constituency, adding that the posters were put up on 23 or 24 December and taken down yesterday.

“It really was quite genuinely a very simple way to wish people happy Christmas.”

Regan said the posters were “a last minute idea” and Christmas holidays “did not allow” her to seek permission from Fingal County Council to erect them.

Posters from elected representatives or candidates are normally reserved to advertise public meetings or as publicity ahead of an election.

Regan said she was “trying to help people to remember that I am in this area” as she is a new candidate, adding: “I didn’t feel I was going too far … I don’t think it was an enormous breach.”

She said the posters were “a nice way and a very non-intrusive way to say happy Christmas”.

“People get very tried of things coming in the door.

A number of residents have complimented me on the Christmas wish poster … I have received entirely no complaints.

She said the decision to erect the posters was her own and not made in conjunction with Fine Gael. TheJournal.ie has contacted the party for comment.

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council said any posters or signage in the area in breach of the Litter Pollution Acts “will be dealt with accordingly”.

Regulations 

Election and public meeting posters may only be erected for a certain time period.

Election posters can only be put up either 30 days before the poll date or from the date the polling day order for the election has been made, whichever is the shorter period of time. Posters must be removed within seven days of polling day.

Alan Bracken, a national executive member of Fianna Fáil who is based in Dublin Bay North, said it is not fair for a candidate to erect these type of posters, describing it the situation as “one rule for one person and another for someone else”.

Bracken said he has no issue with people putting up posters for public meetings once they follow council regulations.

Read: A phantom supporter* is erecting this man’s election posters for him…

Read: Should we limit the number of election posters candidates can have?

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Órla Ryan

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