“There is a balance to be drawn between trying to do what is better for the environment and then what is better for democracy” – Limerick contemplates poster-free election campaigns

The initiative aims to prevent a “complete proliferation of posters with three elections scheduled in June.”

In a bid to address environmental concerns, Councillor Joe Leddin has proposed that Limerick City becomes a campaign poster-free zone during the upcoming local elections, European Parliament elections, and the election of Limerick’s first directly elected mayor. 

The motion, submitted at the November Metropolitan Meeting of Limerick City and County Council (LCCC), aims to tackle the unique situation Limerick faces next June, with a minimum of three elections.

The Labour Councillor expressed concern “to prevent a complete proliferation of posters” and called for a reasoned debate on the suitability issues.

Highlighting the environmental impact, he noted the issues with plastic cable ties lingering on poles for years after an election.

Fine Gael Councillor Olivia O’Sullivan said: “I think it is probably more difficult for first time candidates if there are no posters allowed before the elections.

“There is a balance to be drawn between trying to do what is better for the environment and then what is better for democracy. If we didn’t have any posters there would be a worry that the electorate wouldn’t even realise that an election was happening. There is a fear that if there are no posters whatsoever, will we have the same engagement with local elections.”

Green Party councillor Sean Hartigan seconded the motion, although he criticised it and called for a more specific stance from the local authority on the use of poster.

The motion will now be discussed at a private workshop for councillors. Councillor Leddin defended his proposal by emphasising the use of social media by Politicians as a way of advertising.

Environmental Science student at the University of Limerick, Caitlin Madden, agrees with the possible introduction of a poster ban for Limerick. 

She said: “In this day and age most people get their political news online. Electoral posters are a complete waste of resources and are harming the environment for no good reason.

“They also are very unappealing to see on every pole in the city and county.”

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