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TD denies breaking litter laws on Irish Times front page

Frank Feighan is pictured with a campaign poster on the front of today’s Times – forcing him to deny breaching litter laws.

A SITTING FINE GAEL TD has been forced to deny being in breach of littering laws, after being pictured on the front of today’s Irish Times with a campaign poster – well in advance of the allowed period for raising them.

Frank Feighan, who topped the poll in his Roscommon-South Leitrim constituency in 2007, was pictured on the front page of today’s paper in Brian Farrell’s photograph, with a campaign poster in hand at an otherwise-abandoned lamppost at Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon.

As Politics.ie’s David Cochrane noted, however, the erection of party posters before the 30-day period in advance of an election is outlawed under the official guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment and Local Government.

Those guidelines state that under the Litter Pollution Act, election posters can only be displayed for either the 30 days ahead of an election date, or from the date that the polling day order has been issued.

The polling order for the Dáil elections hasn’t yet been issued, and the March 11 date announced by Brian Cowen on Thursday is not binding – but even if it was, polling posters could not be put up until February 9.

As a result, Feighan took to Twitter this morning to assure anyone who cared that he was not breaching any litter laws, but was simply “sizing up” potential places to put a poster.

“I am very aware of litter laws,” Feighan assured his 82 followersreposting the picture, where it was made more apparent that his small step ladder would not have given him the altitude needed to put the poster in any prominent spot. His poster, it also appears, uses Fine Gael’s older logo.

We can probably expect more candidates to run a little closer to the law in the coming 18 poster-free days.

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Gavan Reilly

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