Fianna Fail Councillor Seamus Hanafin
“I have made this decision as I feel it is important that we play our small part to care for the environment," - Cllr Seamus Hanafin.
Tipperary Fianna Fail Councillor Seamus Hanafin has led the way in the fight to save the planet by announcing that he will not be using election posters during the forthcoming local election campaign.
The Thurles man had raised the issue at a number of meetings of the Municipal District Council and said that he felt the environmental impact of election posters had to be taken into consideration by all candidates. But, having called for some kind of agreement on the part of all candidates, he was informed that council had no role, function or rights in this regard. It was felt that banning posters could not be implemented and could also be seen as being to the detriment of new candidates, thereby giving them an unfair disadvantage.
“I raised the issue about election posters at the January meeting of the Municipal District Council in the hope that all candidates might agree not to hang any posters at this local election. We discussed it again last week and unfortunately not all candidates agree.
“Personally, I feel that we need to be much more aware of climate change and specifically the use of plastics. Posters take 400 years to biodegrade and we are becoming much more aware of the damage caused by single use plastics (for example, cable ties used in the hanging of posters).
For this reason, I will not be using posters in this election,” Cllr Hanafin told The Tipperary Star this week.
Elections posters are already beginning to appear around the district ahead of the May election with many councillors and candidates readying themselves for the campaign. However, Cllr Hanafin is going a different route and he is being joined by Independent candidate Tommy Barrett who has also announced that he will not be erecting election posters in the Thurles District.
“I have made this decision as I feel it is important that we play our small part to care for the environment. I want to encourage the reduction of single use plastics. It is a horrible sight to see our town covered with election posters- they serve no purpose in my opinion,” Tommy Barrett said.
He added: “In the 2014 election over 610,000 election posters were erected with a cost of 3 million- surely this money could have been used in a better way? I hope the other candidates will support this campaign as I certainly do,” he said.
Other candidates are likely to follow suit in the coming days with the campaign likely to be fought more on social media than on ESB and telecom poles.