Rivals join forces to pull down posters ahead of Giro d'Italia
IT GOES against the grain for election candidates to take down posters in the middle of a campaign, but that's what is now happening along the Giro d'Italia route.
Local and European hopefuls appear to be slowly bowing to pressure to remove posters ahead of the prestigious cycling race, which takes place in Dublin on May 11 and which will air to a worldwide audience of 775 million.
The prestigious cycling race, second only to the Tour de France, is one of the biggest sporting events to ever come to this country.
It is also the first time in the cycle race's 105-year-history that the 'Grande Partenza' (or Big Start) will have taken place outside mainland Europe.
But political parties were accused of trying to capitalise on interest in the competition by plastering the route with posters. Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein have now agreed to take the posters down from lampposts in order to showcase the country at its best, with the rest of the parties expected to follow suit.
Dublin City Council requested candidates to remove posters and banners from the Dublin city element of the Giro route. "The rationale for this request is to ensure that the final route is free of all imagery to assist in promoting Dublin as a tourist destination through worldwide TV coverage," the council said.
* RTE faces accusations of "selective reporting" in the run-up to the European Parliament elections.
Several politicians have criticised the state broadcaster after a news report on Saturday evening which outlined the results of a Red C Dublin constituency poll.
Former MEP Patricia McKenna has lodged a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland accusing RTE of trying to "influence voter opinion" by only including those who got 10pc or more support in its report.
Ms McKenna is accusing RTE of leaving out candidates from People Before Profit and the Socialist Party. RTE declined to comment last night.