COUNCILLORS in the Castleconnell electoral area have backed a voluntary ban on election posters within the speed limits of six villages.
Director of services with Limerick County Council, Josephine Cotter Coughlan, said the issue was first considered following the Dail election in February 2011.
“The number of posters which were on public display in Newcastle West, in particular, gave rise to some concern. There was a widespread proliferation of posters there at the time, which were very unsightly, and in some cases a traffic hazard where posters impeded footpaths,” said Ms Coughlan.
A voluntary ban requesting candidates/parties to refrain from erecting posters within the reduced speed limit area in Newcastle West was agreed.
Ms Coughlan said this had been a major success. Newcastle West councillors asked for the voluntary ban to be extended to all towns in the county with a population in excess of 500 – excluding the city environs.
Castleconnell, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Doon, Murroe and Pallasgreen are the six villages in the Castleconnell electoral area.
Cllr Mary Harty backed the proposal and asked Ms Coughlan to check on Oola’s standing and the environs.
“It’s hard to police the environs,” said Cllr Harty.
“When driving the Cross of Pallas is a nightmare at the best of times but when you have election posters all over poles it is very dangerous,” she added.
Cllr Michael Sheahan asked what was to stop Castletroy becoming a dumping ground for all the candidates’ posters.
“It could become doubly saturated,” said Cllr Sheahan, who backed the proposal. Cllr Mary Jackman also voiced concerns over the environs.
As a new councillor, John Egan said he had concerns over the proposal.
“For new candidates villages are where people are most of all,” said Cllr Egan.
Cllr Noel Gleeson said posters were a “bloody nuisance” and was in “full agreement” with the voluntary ban.
Cllr Eddie Wade said he had raised the issue a number of years ago.
“They are very unsightly. If people don’t know who the councillors that are standing are - there is something wrong.
“The money spent on posters is crazy. That money could be spent on the four rural lights that were taken off councillors for country people, who are living in fear at the moment and can’t sleep at night,” said Cllr Wade.
Cllr Brigid Teefy agreed with the voluntary ban but asked what happens if somebody doesn’t abide by it.
Ms Coughlan said when posters were inadvertently erected in Newcastle West the council contacted the party/candidate and they were removed without delay.