Complaints as Irish election posters put up too soon

Posters for Labour candidate Joanna Tuffey were put up too soon by an 'over-zealous' party member
Posters for Labour candidate Joanna Tuffey were put up too soon by an 'over-zealous' party member

Authorities have been urged to fine general election hopefuls who flout the law by putting up campaign posters before the poll is called.

Dozens of complaints have been made to council officials over the street placards erected on lamp posts as early as the weekend.

Political parties have blamed over-zealous volunteers and even the recent stormy weather for the litter law breaches.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to announce the date of the election on Wednesday, widely expected to be on Friday February 26.

He will travel to Aras an Uachtarain and formally request that President Michael D Higgins dissolve the 31st Dail.

A number of candidates in the imminent ballot who were expecting the date to be disclosed earlier were forced back up street lamps to remove their posters.

Junior coalition partner Labour blamed an “over-zealous party member” for jumping the gun in Dublin, where posters for sitting TD Joanna Tuffy as well as hopeful Councillor Pamela Kearns were put up ahead of the date being announced.

“The law is the law and posters should not go up until the election is actually called and we would urge candidates observe the law in all of these matters,” said a spokesman.

“We are engaging with the county council on the matter, we are responding positively to their requests. Some of the posters have already been taken down.”

Sinn Fein blamed the windy weather for an early election poster for their candidate Louise O’Reilly, spotted on a lamp-post in Swords, north Dublin, over the weekend.

A party spokeswoman said a sticker advertising a local meeting was covering the election poster but was blown off during stormy conditions.