Call for Church Street 'poster ban' in Athlone is ignored
A local councillor's call for election candidates to voluntarily refrain from putting posters on the new-look Church Street in Athlone has fallen on deaf ears.
Last week the Westmeath Independent reported that Independent councillor Paul Hogan was asking candidates in the local elections in May to voluntarily exclude Church Street and the town bridge from election postering.
"Earlier this month, the official opening of Church Street was celebrated. Over €4m was spent on the enhancement works on the street, and most will agree that the street is looking fantastic," said Cllr Hogan.
"I think the erection of election posters from the top of Griffith Street along Church Street to the Castle will take from the beautiful aesthetic nature of this area."
He referred to the Tidy Towns adjudication period at this time of year, the start of the tourist season and the All Ireland Drama Festival.
However, this week, Church Street was very much a hub of election poster activity, with posters from at least five different candidates on display in and around the town's central street.
Cllr Michael O'Brien who, like Cllr Hogan, is a member of Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran's 'Independent team' in Athlone, was among the candidates who had posters up on the street.
Reader Hillary O'Neill also sent us the following photo of posters obstructing the view of motorists at the Crescent junction in Athlone, and she called for the posters in question to be taken down in the interest of road safety:
Late last year, Cllr Hogan put forward a motion at the Athlone Municipal District calling for a ban on election posters in the local electoral area.
Cllr Hogan argued that election posters were "a waste of money" but his motion was not supported by the other councillors.
Some towns, such as Westport, have agreed exclusion zones on posters to help with their Tidy Towns campaigns.