Minister Dick Roche has rubbished accusations that he breached the planning and litter acts by putting up election posters outside Wicklow town last week.
The Minister said that although he had made a personal decision to take the posters down, he was within his rights to keep them up as they were situated on private property. 'These posters could have stayed up but I didn't want to encourage the proliferation of posters around the country,' said the Minister. 'The Acts clearly state when posters are to be taken down after an election ends, however it is ambiguous about when they should be put up.'
'There are many parties putting up non-election posters on the roads of south Dublin who are getting around this by advertising meetings and clinics, which they are perfectly entitled to do. 'But I didn't want a row, so I chose to take them down'. The Minister said he first heard about the posters when a journalist contacted him to ask if the election was to be called early after he saw the posters whilst driving through Wicklow. The posters were erected by a group of the Minister's 'very enthusiastic volunteers'. He stressed the environment didn't suffer because they were placed on boards made from recycled material rather than using cardboard.