*Bill Slattery. Photograph: John Mangan

A SITTING councillor phoned the environment section of Clare County Council after one candidate in North Clare put up election posters too early.

As previously reported by The Clare Echo, Bill Slattery (FG) erected an approximate twenty posters across North Clare thirty two hours before he was permitted to do so and in the process breached the Litter Pollution Act 1997.

Speaking on the matter for the first time when appearing on The Electoral Chair’s election debate in the Ennistymon LEA, Slattery admitted, “I didn’t check the legislation myself but I was informed by Fine Gael party members that I could put my posters up, I waited until Monday afternoon to put my posters up in Lahinch.

“Unfortunately somebody reported me, the Gardaí called to my house and my wife was very hurt over that because we have two boys in Australia and one in Dublin, we thought an accident might have occurred and I was a bit annoyed at the person that made the phone call, I found out after that it was one of our candidates and I was more that disappointed that the candidate didn’t ring me to tell me they were up early,” he added.

Lahinch’s Bill said, “I apologise for putting them up, I’ve been involved in four elections and I’ve never breached the law, I understand that it is not a criminal activity to put up the posters, it is against the environment section of Clare County Council only. It was totally wrong for somebody to call the Gardaí to my house”.

Cllr Liam Grant (GP) stated that he rang the environment section of the Council on the matter but not the Gardaí. “I called the environment section to enquire if we were allowed to put them up. I looked outside my house and saw one of Bill’s posters, I was wondering if I got the day wrong because it is my first election. Many of us have been told by party headquarters the time we could put them up and I enquired about it and I’m not going to hide away from that. It is a democratic process and it is important that it is fair to everyone and we are all allowed to put up posters at the same time and take them down. All I rang was Clare County Council, I never rang the Gardaí to clarify, I was more ringing to enquire if I got it wrong”.

Slattery responded, “It is hard to accept that because the environment section of Clare County Council were closed on Monday because it was a Bank Holiday Monday”.

“I’ve phone numbers on my phone and I can tell you who I called in the environment section and who I have messages from,” Cllr Grant outlined.

According to Cllr Shane Talty (FF) “it is a non-event” as he tried to blow down the event. He said, “I think it was a mistake, a silly mistake to not wait until the start date like everybody else”. The postmaster labelled it “a storm in a tea-cup”.

Subsequent to this, election posters across North Clare have been desecrated by vandals. Posters belonging to several candidates in the Ennistymon LEA were targeted.

Conor O’Sullivan (SF) said will not be intimidated by the actions. He stated, “Public service should be about dedication to the community and the pursuit of justice and equality. These bully-boy tactics will not distract me from my mission. Instead, they add even more energy and determination to my campaign. The disabled have the right to be heard, and together we will ensure that our voices resonate loudly in Clare’s Council chamber”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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