Tidy Town drops poster threat but 100 will pursue voluntary ban
Dalkey Tidy Towns has rowed back on a threat to tear down and destroy election posters.
But around 100 towns nationwide are hoping a voluntary poster-free campaign will be respected by candidates.
There was confusion in Dublin suburb over an apparent threat from the local Tidy Towns committee to rip down posters as electioneering gets under way in earnest.
In an email to some candidates, which outlined the poster-free zone in Dalkey, a message said: "No posters within this red line will be tolerated. No posters in Dalkey. Any put up will be removed and destroyed ASAP".
Local councillor Tom O'Leary claimed first-time candidates were feeling "intimidated".
"We're especially trying to encourage women in politics to increase [their presence], and new candidates haven't a hope if they can't put up posters in their own town.
"The blood bank put up posters prior to visiting a town seeking blood donors. Are they banned too? No.
"If so, why not. It's only local politicians trying to serve their own communities."
But in a second message last night, the committee apologised for wording which it said could be "misunderstood".
"While we kindly request that candidates do not erect the CorriBoard plastic posters which have a life of over 200 years in the designated area, if any are erected against our request, after a reasonable time, we will remove them after the elections if they are abandoned by candidates," the message said.
"We are now entering that time of the year when adjudicators from the National Tidy Towns competition will inspect towns throughout Ireland and we are doing our best to be a litter-free heritage town at all times," it added.
A PosterFree campaign with an online presence now claims more than 100 towns around the country are not going to have posters for the local elections.
Donnybrook Tidy Towns said the "repeated requests to keep Donnybrook free of the toxic plastic that is the election poster has fallen on deaf ears".
Other posts complained election posters were being put up before the allowed time of midnight.
Clondalkin Tidy Towns highlighted its voluntary ban on posters in Clondalkin village, saying it has had great success in previous years.