TD Rock fined over election posters

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has been fined over €3,000 after breaking litter laws with his “keep the recovery going” posters.
TD Rock fined over election posters

The 28-year-old Dublin North West TD, a member of the public accounts committee, with an address at Hardiman Rd, Drumcondra, was summonsed to appear in court on nine counts under the 1997 Litter Pollution Act in relation to his posters.

The case was heard at Dublin District Court, but he did not attend the hearing, which proceeded in his absence.

The charges were brought by Dublin City Council.

Evidence was given by three litter wardens and the court was given photos of the posters put up around his constituency, including ones with the TD’s picture and a slogan saying “keep the recovery going” and other information about his availability at his clinic on January 14.

The court heard that two posters were still on display — unlawfully — at Prospect Rd on February 3. Litter wardens spotted four more of the posters on January 28 at Iona Rd, Griffith Avenue, and Drumcondra Rd. They found another one of his posters at Collins Avenue on January 26.

The general election was not called until February 3. Council litter wardens also found one of his election posters that was left up too long after the February 26 vote.

Judge John O’Neill noted that Mr Rock had no prior convictions. He imposed nine fines, each worth €350, and totalling €3,150. He also acceded to prosecution counsel Karen Denning’s application to order Noel Rock to pay €221 in legal costs.

Mr Rock, who was elected to the Dáil in the general election, is the youngest Fine Gael TD in Dublin, representing the Ballymun electoral area.

Meanwhile, Independent councillor Cieran Perry pleaded guilty to Litter Pollution Act charges in relation to posters with his picture and which mentioned a water protest in Dublin on January 23.

Litter wardens spotted them on February 3 and the council argued that they should have been taken down within seven days of the event. He claimed they were exempt as they were part of his general election campaign and he reused posters because he had limited resources.

Judge O’Neill said Mr Perry, who represents the Cabra Finglas ward in Dublin, was a decent man but the law was against him. However, he gave him a chance to avoid a conviction and told him the case would be struck out if he paid €221 in prosecution costs and donated €500 to the St Vincent de Paul before January 17.

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