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Owen Keegan's blanket ban

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | other press author Thursday March 02, 2006 12:17author by Phoenix Magazineauthor email vizel at utvinternet dot com Report this post to the editors

Dublin City Council (DCC) is: busy censoring the right to "impart information by imposing a ban on the advertising of public events and meetings.

According to Section 19 of the Litter ' Pollution Act, 1997, it is legal to put up posters for public meetings as long as they are removed within seven days. Odd then that DCC's Assistant-City Manager, Owen Keegan, should state in an e-mail (seen by Goldhawk) that, "It is the policy of Dublin City Council not to give permission to any individual or organization to erect posters on. its property [...] except in a limited number of cases which are related to traffic diversions/road works".
This was in response to a request by a Shell to Sea campaigner to publicise a
Demonstration in Dublin in support of the Rossport Five. Keegan went on to warn the campaigner that he had "no legal right" to place posters on DCC property.'" Even more strange is the stance taken by DCC's head of waste management, Tom Loftus, who recently told the Irish Examiner that ''those wanting to ' put up posters must ask permission but that the policy [of •DCC] is to refuse except if they are connected to election campaigns”.
DCC has refused permission for posters for the anti-bin tax, Shell to Sea and Irish Anti-war campaigns. It has also barred Frank McBrearty from advertising a public meeting for his campaign against Garda corruption. The ban was not extended, however, to posters for the Smithfield on Ice event, which the council operates with Bupa Ireland.

author by Terencepublication date Thu Mar 02, 2006 15:28Report this post to the editors

I am afraid that the draconian Protection of the Environment Act of 2003 -which has nothing to do with protecting the environment but more about centralising powers to allow the government and it's cronies to further destroy the environment with impunity -that it actually bans posters. It also gives councils the power to introduce all sorts of ad hoc anti-democractic measures.

As far as I know this Bill was not brought in very democratically because it was rushed through on the last day of the Dail in Jul 2003 before the summer break and they had to use the Party Whip which of course is a form of party dictatorship to push it through.

Here's a summary taken A&L Goodbody in the Environmental & Planning Law Newsletter:
http://www.algoodbody.ie/environmental/newsletter/artic...p?1+2

Sections 56, 57, 58 and 59 relating to litter pollution were commenced on 1 October 2003. Section 56 prohibits the posting of notices or posters and the placement of flyers or other documents on windscreen wipers. Section 57 gives local authorities the powers to make bye-laws in relation to litter prevention. Section 58 sets out the penalties for offences under the Litter Act 1997. On summary conviction the maximum penalty is €3,000. On indictment the maximum penalty is €130,000. There is provision for continuing offences with a maximum fine of €600 per day on summary conviction and €10,000 per day on indictment.

The actual gobbly-gook of the Act itself can be found here and the text is:

------------------------------------------------------
56.—Section 19 of the Act of 1997 is amended—

(a) by substituting the following subsection for subsection (1):

"(1) Where any structure or other land, door, gate, window, tree, pole or post is in or is visible from a public place, a person who is not the owner, occupier or person in charge thereof shall not—

(a) exhibit or cause to be exhibited thereon any article or advertisement, or

(b) carry out or cause to be carried out any defacement thereof by writing or other marks,

unless, in either case, the person is authorised in advance to do so in writing by such owner, occupier or person in charge or by or under any enactment, and, in addition, in the case of paragraph (a), the article or advertisement—

(i) if it relates to a meeting or an event, carries the name and address of the person who is promoting or arranging the meeting or event, and

(ii) in any other case, carries the name and address of the person on whose behalf it is exhibited.",

(b) by substituting the following subsections for subsection (2):

"(2) A person shall not place advertising material on a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place otherwise than by securing the material by some mechanical means to the body of the vehicle.

(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2)—

'body', in relation to a mechanically propelled vehicle, does not include—

(a) any windscreen wiper, wiperblade, mirror or aerial, or

(b) any other part of the vehicle concerned that is not specifically designed or adapted for the purpose of securing to it the material concerned;

'mechanical means' does not include any means relying on or involving any pressure (of whatever amount or in whatever direction) exerted by—

(a) any windscreen wiper or wiperblade, or

(b) any other part of the vehicle that is not specifically designed or adapted for the purpose of employing pressure in order to secure the material concerned to the body of the vehicle;

'place advertising material on a mechanically propelled vehicle' does not include paint, emboss, inscribe or apply by any method of transfer letters, figures or images on or to the body of the vehicle or place in the interior of the vehicle any such material.",
------------------------------------------------------

BTW, it looks like when they draw up an Act or Bill although they do is taking the existing legislation and just amend the relevant sections. So it looks like you have to have access to the previous Acts.

Anyway, just to iterate, the banning of posters is a complete disgrace and undemocratic. This is a bad law and it should be struck off the books immediately.

Related Link: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/ZZA27Y2003S56.html
 
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