News Courts

Tuesday 26 September 2017

TD to appeal severity of €3k litter fines for 'Keep the recovery going' posters

Noel Rock Picture: Tom Burke
Noel Rock Picture: Tom Burke

Tom Tuite

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has launched legal proceedings to appeal the severity of a €3,150 fine for breaking litter laws with his “keep the recovery going” posters.

The 29-year-old Dublin North West TD and Public Accounts Committee member was fined in October at Dublin District Court on nine counts under the 1997 Litter Pollution Act in relation to his posters.

On Tuesday, his barrister successfully applied to Judge John Brennan at the district court for a two-week extension to allow Rock lodge an appeal against the severity of the fine. The appeal will go before the circuit court on a later date.

The charges were brought by Dublin City Council. During the district court hearing on October 4 last, evidence was given by three litter wardens and the court was given photos of the posters including ones with the TD's picture and a slogan saying “keep the recovery going” and other information about his availability at his clinic on January 14 last year.

The court heard that two posters were unlawfully put up at Prospect Road on February 3 last. Litter wardens spotted four more of the posters on January 28 at: Iona Road, Griffith Avenue and Drumcondra Road. They found another one of his posters at Collins Avenue on January 26 last.

The general election was not called until February 3. Council litter wardens also found one of his election posters that was left up too long after the February 26 vote.

The offence can result in a fine of up to €4,000 per offence. Nine fines each worth €350 were imposed along with an order that Mr Rock would have to pay €221 in legal costs.

Mr Rock, who was elected to the Dail in the 2016 general election, is the youngest Fine Gael Dublin TD, representing the Ballymun Electoral Area, which includes Drumcondra, Glasnevin, Whitehall, Beaumont, Santry, Finglas and Ballymun.

In 2006, the DCU graduate, with an address at Hardiman Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, was selected to take part in an intern ship with US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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