Calls for action against referendum poster vandals

Those who vandalise or take down referendum posters should be pursued by the gardaí, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party have said.

Those who vandalise or take down referendum posters should be pursued by the gardaí, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party have said.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has threatened to press criminal charges against anyone who removes his party’s pro-choice referendum posters after receiving evidence of their removal.

Pro-life TDs Willie O’Dea and Mary Butler also “unreservedly” condemned the tearing down of posters.

It comes as a number of complaints have been made to gardaí, including one from former Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan, who reported the pulling down of Labour Party referendum posters in Limerick city.

Mr Howlin said the party plans to hold an executive meeting this Saturday due to reports “across the country of posters being taken down”.

He said that while “there’s no specific law” on posters removal, it is possible to prosecute those involved for theft of Labour Party material.

When asked if the party will press criminal charges against anyone found responsible, he said: “Yes, it’s something we’ll have to consider.”

Mr O’Dea said his own election posters have been taken down in the past.

“It’s very frustrating, very annoying because as you know posters are pretty expensive. People are entitled to put up posters that’s the system we have,” the Limerick TD said.

Anybody who takes down posters, whether they be for the yes side or the no side, should be pursued. It is an activity which I condemn unreservedly.

This was echoed by Ms Butler, who said they had called for a respectful debate.

She said she had seen a “huge no poster” torn down on the way to Dungarvan over the weekend.

“They cost a lot of money to put up,” said the Waterford TD. “The tearing down of posters whether they are yes or no is obviously not the right way to deal with this issue, people are entitled to put up their posters.”

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