Friday 24 January 2020

Former climate change minister Denis Naughten commits to running a poster-free campaign

Independent Denis Naughten. Picture: Collins
Independent Denis Naughten. Picture: Collins
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Former climate change minister Denis Naughten has ramped up pressure on environmentally conscience general election candidates by pledging to run a poster-free campaign.

Mr Naughten said the material used to make election posters takes "several hundred years" to decompose and he planned to run without using any in acknowledgement of the serious situation facing the environment.

"I want to make a clear statement of intent in relation to my determination to try to reduce the amount of plastic being generated rather than just soundbites," he told the Irish Independent.

He said it would be "disingenuous" to ask businesses and supermarkets to reduce plastic if he was not doing so himself.

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"There is no doubt that election posters are unsightly and have no place in our towns and villages where local groups are working hard to present their area in the best possible light," he added.

Mr Naughten also called on local authorities to designate specific areas where posters could be placed rather than allowing them to cover entire communities.

None of the main political parties is running poster-free campaigns. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said some of his candidates would run poster-free campaigns, but said there was no restriction on using them. Mr Ryan said he would be using old ones and also supported having designated areas for posters.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil said there would be restrictions on posters for their candidates. Fianna Fáil Longford-Westmeath candidate Joe Flaherty said he spoke to local community groups about areas where they did not want posters erected and he agreed not to put any in these places.

Independent Councillor Sharon Keoghan, of Meath County Council, said she would be running a poster-free campaign and urged others in her constituency to do the same.

"There are many other effective channels to use at election time without littering the countryside with posters," Ms Keoghan said.

Irish Independent

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