A Fianna Fáil local election candidate who committed to not using posters during the campaign has broken his word.
Posters of Mark Nestor who is running in the Ennis Municipal District appeared on poles and various locations around the county town late last week. When his candidacy was confirmed, the party’s youngest candidate in Clare insisted he would not utilise posters and that his campaign would be self-financed.
Dermot Hayes who is running as an Independent told The Clare Echo that all other candidates were “furious” because “Fianna Fáil in Ennis broke their word”.
Numerous attempts to contact Nestor on Tuesday and Wednesday proved to be unsuccessful. However while speaking on Clare FM, the Cloughleigh native explained why he changed his mind on the subject.
“When I began my campaign I made a decision not to put up posters simply because I was canvassing my own area and the feedback was positive on the doors. I gave two nights canvassing outside of my area and people were saying ‘who is this young lad, we do not know him’. I felt as a first time candidate to give myself any chance of being elected I had to put up posters. I fully respect that our sitting candidates signed an agreement not to do so, they have facial recognition something that I do not have”.
According to the Irish Language Development Officer, a lot of people in the constituency were oblivious to the fact that an election is looming. “Knocking on doors, social media, advertisement in papers are all things that I’m doing but the amount of people who have answered the door to me and said ‘we didn’t even realise there was an election on until a poster went up’, that is a serious issue, people are not engaging they do not know there is an election happening”.
Labour candidate Seamus Ryan had already purchased posters and planned on putting them around the Ennis Municipal District. However he felt it was inappropriate to use them as every other candidate was opting against doing so. “I believe posters are an important part of elections, they give people facial recognition and I believe there is a serious issue in terms of adult literacy because one in eight people can’t read the material you put through their door so it’s important people know who they are voting for”.