Sunday 8 December 2019

Gardaí arrest man after reports of 50 election posters being cut down in north Dublin

Election posters, similar to these, were cut down.
Election posters, similar to these, were cut down.

Gabija Gataveckaite

GARDAÍ arrested a man in his 40s last Thursday after around 50 election posters were cut down from poles in north Dublin.

The arrest was made after a report that a man was cutting down election posters on Naul Road in Balbriggan.

It is understood that the man was caught “red-handed with cutters in his hands".

The man was detained at Balbriggan Garda Station, charged and bailed. He is due to appear before Balbriggan District Court later this month.

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Cllr Duncan Smith
Cllr Duncan Smith

Around 50 posters are believed to have had their top cable ties cut, which meant that they there flapped down and created a safety risk.

Posters of Fine Gael, Fine Faíl and Labour candidates were among the posters who were targeted.

Labour Councillor Duncan Smith, who is a candidate in the Fingal byelection and who had some of his posters tampered with, said that he was happy to see an arrest made.

“I’m happy to hear he was caught, because posters are a candidate’s private property and it takes a lot of time and volunteers in putting them up,” he told Independent.ie.

“People know that an election is coming up once they see posters on the poles and cutting them down is undemocratic,” he said.

He said that this was above the acceptable level of “horseplay” that takes place around election time.

“There’s always a bit of horseplay with the posters around election time and people would spin them around or one goes missing,” he said.

“But this was a level past that, the posters were causing a health and safety issue as they flap down and can get in the way of pedestrians or cyclists.”

Councillor Smith added that he doesn’t think that the incident was politically motivated as other parties and candidates were also targeted.

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