Louth County Council have issued seven fines in relation to the failure of political parties and General Election candidates to take down their election posters before the deadline hit earlier this month.
LouthNow.ie can reveal that the local authority issued seven fines to five parties. Posters were required to be taken down by midnight on Saturday February 15 – a little over seven days after the polls closed in the election.
Fine Gael were the most culpable party when it came to leaving errant posters erect around the county. The party, who ran Fergus O’Dowd and John McGahon in the election, received three of the seven fines issued. No breakdown of which candidates the posters promoted were available.
It is possible the fines did not relate to O’Dowd or McGahon, as posters of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were also prominent around the county. These were erected by a national contractor employed by the party.
Elsewhere, single fines were issued to Labour’s Ged Nash and the Green Party’s Mark Dearey. Both Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil also were issued with one fine each. The parties both ran two candidates in the Louth constituency but experienced very different elections. Imelda Munster and Ruairí Ó Murchú took home the first and second seats in the county, in comfortable fashion, whereas incumbent Declan Breathnach lost his seat and first time candidate James Byrne was unsuccessful.
However, as was the case with Fine Gael, those fines issued may be in relation to non-constituency specific posters of Mary Lou McDonald and Micheal Martin.
Every poster left up after the deadline is subject to a €150 fine under the Litter Pollution Act, meaning the local authority are set to collect €1,050 in fines from the guilty parties and candidates.