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Bitter Mayo row raging over election posters with candidates told: 'Remove them'

A BITTER row is raging between Mayo election candidates who have erected posters and outgoing councillors who sought to ban the practice.

Westport Independent Councillor Christy Hyland claims to have been inundated with complaints since posters went up in towns and villages while local Tidy Towns volunteers remain concerned by the impact on the landscape.

He said: “We have had a policy in the Westport area for a number of years banning election posters and that policy was doubled down last February with the adoption of a motion at a meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District.

“However, our wishes have not been respected with posters erected over the past week in rural and urban areas.

“If this happened as a result of a lack of communications with the various political parties and others, I implore them to remove them now.”

While accepting there is no legislation in place preventing candidates from erecting posters on poles and roadside locations, Councillor Hyland said they should accept the wishes of the municipal authority as well as Tidy Towns committees.

He commented: “If people running for election have an environmentally-friendly ethos, then they should respect the wishes of those committed to protecting their local landscape.

“I think political parties need to start taking this matter more seriously by adopting legislation in the Oireachtas to ban the erection of election posters.”

He added: “There is plenty of time between here and polling day for candidates to get their names and message across in the local print and social media rather than resorting to placing posters on every street corner.”

When it was put to him that it is easier for an established political name to make this argument rather than somebody new into the sphere whose names and faces are not as widely known, he stated: “That’s a very good point but putting up posters is not the correct approach.

“They should have been out in their communities and involved with their communities over the past number of years in order to get their names and policies known rather than doing so at the eleventh hour, so to speak.

“There is no point in sharpening the sword just when the drum beats for battle.”