A WEEK is a long time in politics - but not long enough for party workers who failed to remove cable ties from poles around Limerick within the seven days required by the law.
Limerick City Council confirmed it has issued €150 fines to four political parties who removed referendum posters but left the unsightly cable ties behind. They were caught out after City Hall left colour coded tags on 30 of the hundreds of posters erected around Limerick in advance of polling on the European fiscal treaty.
“Electoral legislation allows for the erection of posters but stipulates they must be removed within seven days of the election or referendum,” explained director of service Caroline Curley.
“Over the last few years the political parties have improved their performance in regard to the removal of the posters. However, the cable ties were being left behind but as the same pole can be used by a number of parties, it was difficult to identify the offending party. They are very unsightly and going against our efforts to improve the look of the city. In addition, the removal of the cable ties by council workers is an additional and unnecessary drain on already-stretched council resources.”
Ms Curley explained that as a result, a sample of 30 cables had been tagged, covering all parties and both sides of the campaign.
“On inspection of the 30 tagged cables, all bar four had been removed and fines of €150 were issued in each case under the Litter Pollution Act,” she said.
One fine was also issued in respect of a poster that was left behind.
“The Council also deployed resources to remove other untagged cables and has encouraged community groups under the Going for Gold banner to remove them in the community areas,” Ms Curley said.