Pearce Flannery has slammed city councillors as “elitist and out of touch” and demanded a ban on election posters, despite being a local election candidate with numerous posters across Galway City West.
In what is the Local Election’s invocation of St Augustine’s “Oh Lord make me pure, but not yet!” moment, Mr Flannery, who is running for Fine Gael in the west ward, has called for “an outright ban on election posters”.
He described election posters as “unsightly, environmentally unfriendly, and a hazard to motorists and pedestrians”. He said: “We live in a digital age and should realise that certain marketing and promotional concepts are not fit for purpose in a modern era.”
However Mr Flannery will not be removing his own election posters at this time claiming that if others have them up, he should too.
“I have posters up because if every other candidate has them up,” he said, “I would be at a disadvantage if I did not erect my own. It is essential I do so to maintain a level playing field. If there was an outright ban on election posters every candidate would be in a similar position and they would all enjoy the benefits of having a fair and even chance.”
Mr Flannery has though, pledged to make the banning of posters in subsequent elections a priority if he is elected to City Hall on May 23
“If we banned posters outright, candidates with innovative minds would come to the fore and develop more innovative, safer, and environmentally friendly promotional initiatives,” he said.
Another institution of elections and local councils which Mr Flannery is keen to wipe out is the ostentatious red gowns worn by councillors at formal and civic functions.
Mr Flannery described the wearing of the capes as an “antiquated custom” and “ridiculous in the 21st century”.
“This practice was initially designed centuries ago to distinguish council members from the common townspeople,” he said. “It has no place in an equal society and should only be used as a token gesture of historical significance. Practices such as these are elitist and only serve to create a chasm between the councillors and public.”
He was particularly critical of councillors wearing the red capes while sitting in the viewing stand in Eyre Square watching the St Patrick’s Day parade.
“I was struck by the odious sight of elected councillors wearing their red capes reviewing the parade from a specially erected viewing platform,” Mr Flannery said. “This is elitist and insulting to the people of Galway. Surely the place for an elected member of council is watching the parade on the street beside the people who elected them. The council belongs to the people and this is sometimes forgotten.”