independent

Monday 1 September 2014

Campaign of vandalism on 50 election posters

Published 13/05/2014 | 05:38

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UP TO 50 large election posters were defaced in South West Wexford over the past week, with Nazi symbols and comical images being scrawled on the election material.

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UP TO 50 large election posters were defaced in South West Wexford over the past week, with Nazi symbols and comical images being scrawled on the election material.

A Garda spokesperson said they are aware that posters have been targeted, adding that many of the lower-down posters were targeted by the bandit midnight painters.

Fianna Fail candidate Michael Whelan said numerous posters were smeared with paint and defaced between 11 p.m. on Thursday and 6 a.m. on Friday.

'From the Newline Road to Ballyhack, from Campile to Camblin Hill, red paint was smeared all over the posters,' he said.

The revolutionary tone of the messages scrawled across the posters has many candidates scratching their heads as to who is responsible.

Cllr Whelan, for one, believes it's dirty tricks.

'It seems organised and deliberate. Over 30 posters were targeted in my area alone. First it was black paint and now red paint.'

Cllr Whelan logged his complaint with the Gardaí after six of his 8 ft by 4 ft posters were destroyed.

'I know an eye patch was drawn on some of Ollie Somers's posters and I won't say what was drawn on some of the other ones but it was taken up a scale on Thursday night. It's frustrating as we put our own money into it. It's our friends and family that are helping us. People think it's a big party in Dublin paying for them but that's not the case.'

He appealed for people to be vigilant. 'People might keep an eye out to see who is doing this as it is vandalism.'

A defiant Fine Gael Cllr Larry O'Brien said he noticed the poster smear campaign was ratcheted up in recent days.

'It's par for the course. I was one of the councillors who was against posters but you need them. It went on for three of four nights last week and you have to replace them and clean them and they will get fed up eventually,' he said.

Independent Cllr Bobby Dunphy, who doesn't use posters, said it shouldn't be the case that candidates with hundreds of posters erected across the countryside should be getting any more publicity than those who choose not to 'climb up poles' for a vote.

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