Former Mayor of Galway, Cllr Pearce Flannery is not using plastic or cori-board posters in the upcoming election. He started a campaign to ban plastic election posters five years ago and intends to continue on with his quest.
Cllr Flannery proposed a motion to City Council banning the use of election posters.
The motion read: “In supporting a cleaner and safer environment, Galway City Council commits to develop and implement a bye-law prohibiting the use of election posters or the posting of any type of politically motivated election material on public facilities or in publicly controlled spaces throughout the Galway City area subject to legal advice”.
However subsequent legal advice has stated that this motion banning election posters in Galway city is unenforceable as local bye-laws may not be enacted because the matter is already governed by existing law.
The legal opinion did state that a protocol on the erection of posters could be agreed on a voluntary basis by candidates.
As a result Cllr Flannery who established the ‘Make Galway a Plastic Free City’ movement put forward a motion to get sitting councillors to adopt such a protocol with no success. Galway City Council did not support this motion.st “This was hugely disappointing as we call ourselves a green leaf city. We have councillors that voted against the hospice on environmental grounds yet they support the use of posters, others are involved in tidy towns. Even the Green Party are using plastic posters all over the city. It does not make sense” said Pearce Flannery.
“If a poster free candidate such as myself is not re-elected then we are without doubt going to see the use of plastic posters for many years to come. I believe we need to send out a message that election postering is not acceptable in 21st century” added Pearce Flannery.
There are significant environmental concerns, road safety issues and the hugely negative impact on tourism caused by using these plastic cori-board posters.
As a result I am not using plastic or cori-board posters or erecting dangerous material on lampposts. We need to lead by example. I have been trying to get posters banned for five years now and will continue the campaign.
For now I will not use plastic and can only hope that it does not impact on my electoral chances as seems to be the general consensus. I hope the public will vote for a poster free candidate so that in future others will realize that we do not need to use posters to get elected.