herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Council to bin ugly posters in rule change

OFFENSIVE images or oversized photos of politicians will be targeted as part of Dublin City Council's revised rules on public notices.

The protocol, which was first introduced in 2007, allows for the erection of notices advertising meetings or events.

It expressly prohibits offensive or vulgar notices but does not define the criteria.

Since the introduction of the guidelines, however, the council has come across instances "where the details of the meeting only take up a small part of the poster and the rest is taken up by a photo or a message or both", local authority official Hugh Coughlan said.

The meeting details are at times "barely legible" and the council has received queries "about the true purpose of the poster", he added.

The local authority is considering restricting the notices to text only or, alternatively, imposing a requirement that 30pc of the poster must be dedicated to advertising the meeting or event.

COMPLAINTS

While the existing rules specify that the council can refuse permission for vulgar or offensive ads, the criteria are not set out.

Mr Coughlan said he believes "there is merit in going into detail and expand out the criteria".

It is understood this move has been prompted by complaints surrounding a pro-life poster depicting an aborted foetus.

A further measure being examined is expanding the number of streets on which public notices are banned altogether.

At the moment, posters are prohibited on Grafton Street, Henry Street and O'Connell Street at all times.

Consideration is to be given to adding more streets to the exclusion zone, including Abbey Street, North Earl Street, Temple Bar and St Stephen's Green.

The council also believes there are occasions when an excessive number of notices are erected. Applications are sometimes made to the local authority for permission to put up 1,000 posters.

The council is expected to come up with a revised protocol next month and the proposals will be put before a full meeting of the council for acceptance.

comurphy@herald.ie

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