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DCC still ripping freedom of expression and speech from the lampposts of Dublin

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday July 27, 2006 21:57author by Seán Ryan Report this post to the editors

DCC are ignoring the removal of the Ban on Public Notices in Dublin. The Ban is still in effect, despite a recent vote by DCC to remove the illegal Ban.
Inside Colm's Handcart
Inside Colm's Handcart

I was on O’Connell St. today. I noticed to my delight that there were many posters hung up. The people of Dublin had their voice back, I thought as I examined them as I walked. Everything from posters describing missing persons and calling for information and help to posters from the IAWM depicting a torture victim from Abu Ghraib advertising a public event where ex interrogator Joshua Casteel will speak of his experiences to the public tonight at the ATGWU hall on Middle Abbey St.

I was walking towards this striking IAWM poster to get a better look, when I spotted a DCC (Dublin City Council) worker coming towards me, pushing a handcart. I stopped up and waited until he came level with the poster – confident that he’d not have the audacity to rip it down in broad daylight. It was 2.45pm.

Without so much as a sideways glance, the worker pulled the poster down and threw it into his handcart.

I didn’t have a camera with me at the time, but nonetheless I went up to this worker and began to question him.

Me: Did you know that you are interfering with the freedom of speech and expression by ripping these posters down?

Colm (I asked his name later): I’m just doing what I was told to do.

Me: What were you told to do?

Colm: I was told to take down any posters I saw on O’Connell St.

Me: All the posters?

Colm: Yeah – all posters.

Me: Who told you to do this?

Colm: My boss.

Me: Your boss told you to take down every poster on O’Connell St., without exception?

Colm: Yeah – my boss.

Me: Who is your boss?

Colm: Joe Crosbie.

I ended my conversation with Colm after finding out where I’d get my hands on this Joe Crosbie. Colm continued on his way down O’Connell St. ripping the freedom of expression from poles as he went – Joe Crosbie and DCC would be very proud of him, he didn’t miss a single one.

Having no camera, I phoned Mr. H, a good friend who arrived within minutes, with his camera.

We caught up with Colm and photographed him and the contents of his handcart. Colm seemed a nice bloke, and I’ve decided not to publish photos of him – he told me that he’d had no choice in the matter and that he needed the job. I’m not too impressed with what Colm does for a living, but I don’t see him as the cause of the problem. [However, if this practice does not stop immediately, I will start publishing pictures of those who remove posters at their masters’ bidding.]

Myself and H made our way to 52 Sean McDermot St. to confront and demand an explanation from this Joe Crosbie.

I was told by the lady at reception, that Joe Crosbie was on leave currently, and that his boss Hugh McKenna was not available. Simon Brock a worker from the Public Domain office was called out to talk to me.

Simon told me that Joe Crosbie’s full job title was: Public Domain Officer. (Joe can be contacted at 01 – 222 5303)

When asked who Joe Crosbie’s immediate boss was, replied: Hugh McKenna. Hugh is Assistant Area Manager and can be contacted at 01 – 222 2934. If unsuccessful at this number try: 01 – 9732934.

I told Simon of my encounter with DCC employee Colm on O’Connell St. earlier and asked him if DCC were aware that the Poster Ban had been lifted. Simon told me that he’d check this for me and get back to me. He took my mobile no. and myself and H left.

I wonder if Cllr Dermot Lacey wants to get involved in this?

Dermot expressed outrage at the thoughts of DCC impeding free expression and offered to help in a piece I’d written a short while back. This was written in response to a point made by fellow Indy contributer Pat C, when he described witnessing a DCC employee ripping down posters.

Dermot Lacey: “I would be grateful if Pat and anyone else with issues on this matter would contact me as I am disturbed at different stories I am hearing about this. While we may differ on some issues the right to Freedom of expression and protest is in my book too important to be allowed be interfered with in the manner I am hearing. As a Councillor my understanding is that anyone wishing to poster simply had to apply to City Manager inform that the posters were going up and that they would be down in seven days. I can be contacted at dermot_lacey@labour.ie"

It’s obvious that Dermot has not followed up on earlier complaints yet. But he may do so this time – one never knows.

Anyway in order to help Dermot or anyone else who may wield some authority (I’m sure Joan Collins will help too), I’ve compiled a pecking order starting with Colm. Heads need to roll folks, and if it’s Colm’s there’ll be hell to pay – that’s a promise.

Colm: DCC worker who removes posters from poles.

Joe Crosbie: Public Domain Officer. (Phone no. above)

Hugh McKenna: Assistant Area Manager (Phone no. above)

Charlie Lowe: Area Manager. Phone no. 01 – 2223033

Sean Carey: Assistant city manager 01 – 2223800

John Tierney: City Manager. Phone no. 01 – 2222100 (Replaced John Fitzgerald after he resigned a few weeks ago.)

Terence O'Keefe is the Law Agent for DCC and is not part of the ‘pecking order described above, however, Terence is responsible for all legal and in this case illegal acts by DCC. Phone no. 01 – 2223211

As I’ve said heads need to roll. The list above contains all the relevant suspects. And again to pick Colm as the ‘fall guy’ is not acceptable.

Related Links:

Directions for persons wishing to avail of the lift on the Poster Ban in Dublin
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76532

Motion on Poster Ban passed at DCC
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76227

The Silenced Majority
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75817

Shut Up
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75629

Copy of IAWM poster I witnessed being ripped from a pole
Copy of IAWM poster I witnessed being ripped from a pole

Joe Crosbie can be found here
Joe Crosbie can be found here

author by Kim Park Choe - Worker of the Worldpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting comments, or is it threats? "Where i can get My Hands on" could be construed as a threat of Physical Violence.

Threatening to publish pictures of persons doing their legal jobs is an indirect way of encouraging violence & harrassment against them as well.

You would be well off to consider this article could be used in a court of laws, if a worker was assaulted. Careful what you write.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 00:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and are straining the bounds of credulity in order to find something negative to say. The reporter clearly says what he did when he got his hands on Crosbie.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 00:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most sentences can be construed to mean nearly anything anyone wants, if one is willing to make additions to them. I have not done so, nor have I threatened to do so.

As for 'threatening' to publish pictures taken in a public place encouraging violence or otherwise - that's not my problem and again it's not my intention. The photographs taken depict a person illegally removing posters on behalf of DCC. It is DCC if anyone, who is encouraging a public reaction - violent or otherwise. I neither encourage nor promote violence.

As for being careful with regard to what I write - I am.

Maybe you should consider being careful about what you read, or more to the point, how you read.

I note you've had nothing to say about the topic of the article itself.

Also take note of the second picture. You'll note that the public meeting advertised took place in the ATGWU hall. Wouldn't it be ironic if Colm were a member of the ATGWU?

Did you perhaps take a look at the first picture and in particular the top poster in the handcart. It's a poster advertising a demo, one that RTE itself has seen fit to mention in the news today.

A lot of posters advertise the violence that has befallen people. Maybe you might express an opinion on this. In this case the violence is not implied.

author by Bemusedpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors


" I’m not too impressed with what Colm does for a living, but I don’t see him as the cause of the problem. "

What kind of snobbish claptrap is that? By the way , the new City Manager hasn't taken up his post yet.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It’s obvious that Dermot has not followed up on earlier complaints yet. But he may do so this time – one never knows."

He has followed up the complaints. Dermot and I have exchanged emails. Dermot has put down a motion for the September Council meeting. Sean is not helping this campaign by pursuing a personal vendetta against Dermot Lacey.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean,

I am dispappointed that you have not rsponded to my last direct messge to you and by posting this new thread on more or less the same topic it would appear that you are trying to avoid doing so

Anyway please find below the text of an email I recently sent to the City Managers office. Unfortuntately the Council does not meet in August and therefore the September meeting is my forst opportunity to formally raise the matter.

Dermot

Please substitute this motion for the motion which I have down for the September meeting of the City Council.

Dermot Lacey

" This Council calls for a full report on the implementation of the motion adopted by the City Council at the City Council meeting of May 22nd in relation to the erection of posters advertising political/community events/meetings. Specifically this Council calls on the Manager to explain why instructions continue to be issued to Council staff to remove such posters in direct defiance of the policy decision taken by the elected Council."

author by Garypublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i dont care what the posters are for, the look terrible. Its our main street. I work on it and I hate the sight of the posters. Its not effective to put them there anyway, most people wont look at them and consider them an eyesore. So all you manage to do is dirty up a street and annoy people who may have supported this weeks cause. I am not against free speech or the right to protest but please use your head. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to Seán Ryan for his detailed report and photographic evidence of Dublin City Council's blatant disregard for democracy in the City.

DCC's actions to stamp out freedom of speech and expression by the destruction of these posters - which people are entitled to put up by law to advertise their campaigns and public gatherings - are an absolute disgrace!!! Shame on those in Dublin City Council that send out their workers to carry out their dastardly commands to destroy the posters.

Dublin City Council are behaving undemocratically and until they change such behaviour, people should continue to be vigilant and take photos of DCC's staff illegally taking down these posters, otherwise the bullies at a high level employed to run DCC will deny all charges against them.

Cllr. Dermot Lacey stated here that he will bring the matter up at DCC's meeting in September and I hope, that unlike last time, those responsible for these actions will not ignore him and other elected Councillors this time. I appreciate the fact that Cllr. Dermot Lacey will be bringing this up at Council's meeting in September and, hopefully, they'll listen to him and others this time. I suggest that a protest be organised outside and in the run-up to this meeting.

I don't blame Seán for being suspicious of what elected representatives say, as they often conflict with what they actually do.

Many thanks for Seán Ryan for his detailed report. Mo cheol thú! (Well done!)

Slán agus beannacht Dé leat.

author by fem - fempublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yep Indymedia is the only good way to name and shame the... well they are known in a lot more countries now as we put their names and an explanation on virtual billboards all over the world with the kind question to write to stop this freedom of expression-repression. You may think it has nothing to do with childrens rights (our org. ) but if we cannot put missing posters up in Dublin, it does effect us. I think it affects us all.

author by Bystanderpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To ask the City Manager to outline Dublin City Council’s policy in relation to the display of posters for public events; to state how this policy can be accessed; to state the legal basis for the policy of banning posters; how this policy is implemented and if it is applied to all notices (political and non-political) evenly; what law is invoked when posters are removed and/or fines are issued; what procedure is in place for implementing this policy and if there is a written record of this procedure; if he is concerned that this ban contravenes Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights'; and to list the number of litter fines for postering issued to groups involved in political activity i.e. organising political meetings, demonstrations etc. in 2004.

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:
The Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2003 provides that a poster may not be erected on any structure, land, pole etc. without the advance written permission of the owner. Dublin City Council as the owner of land or street furniture does not generally allow posters on its property for the following reasons:-

(1) For health and safety reasons as public lighting poles contain live wiring the attachment of posters could result in injury to traffic or other signs and is a danger to drivers and pedestrians
(2) Should permission be given for the erection of posters and the party erecting such posters suffer injury on city council property the council could face substantial claims for damages
(3) The difficulty in determining legality of the matter(s) to be discussed at a public meeting in advance, particularly where the organiser is unknown to the City Council.
(4) The City Council in performing the functions conferred on it by law must have regard to, inter alia, to the policies and objectives of the Government or any Minister in so far as they may affect or relate to its function. This puts an onus on the City Council to ensure that postering does not conflict with its legal responsibilities to clean up the city.
(5) There are now modern means of communication that avoid the necessity for postering.

It is our policy as owners to remove unauthorised posters from our property and in some cases on-the-spot fines are issued. In 2004 there were 215 fines issued in relation to posters. This policy is implemented as part of our statutory functions relating to litter control and the management of street furniture and it has been announced publicly on many occasions over the last few years. In our view it does not contravene Article 10 0f the European Convention of Human Rights.

The policy applies to all posters but a protocol was agreed in the past with political parties regarding the erection and removal of posters during elections. This protocol worked reasonably satisfactorily.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The reply printed above was issued (I think) prior to the adoption by the Council submitted by Joan Collins and supported by most of the Council

author by young and restlesspublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Must we once again remind DCC that the alternative to posters, should we be unable to erect posters, is a culture of wheatpasting and stencilling which we promise them will be much more unsightly and cost them a lot more to remove.

A compromise might be to erect specific boards around the city on which people can put posters but I would settle for no less than on board on every major street in the city centre and one for every parish around the suburbs.

DCC thread carefully because you've sewn the wind..

author by Bystanderpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 16:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure DCC are crapping themselves at the prospect of you coming at them. You'd settle for no less!!!! Get a life and an English lesson!

author by me - in a personal capacitypublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When I was in the states quite a few places I visited including Brooklyn had loads of posters and notices for community events, lost pets, furniture being given away, all kinds of stuff.
It wasn't an eyesore at all, it gave the place a real feeling of community.
But people didn't drop litter all over the ground like they do here. Thats littering, throwing rubbish around, not making companies cut down on the packaging they use. Why target a means of public expression and communication??
If they really wanted to cut down on litter they'd look at how other countries have stopped people throwing rubbish and leave the posters alone, they're hardly the biggest litter problem we have.

author by Spitfire_Mk_IIIpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:
The Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2003 provides that a poster may not be erected on any structure, land, pole etc. without the advance written permission of the owner. Dublin City Council as the owner of land or street furniture does not generally allow posters on its property for the following reasons:- .......................

The Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2003 provides that a poster may not be erected on any structure, land, pole etc. without the advance written permission of the owner.

but see Section 19 -7(b)(i) below

i.e adverts for public meetings are exempt, as are election posters.
Any rally / demo must surely qualify as a 'public meeting'

Strange that the City manager would forget to read this piece of the legislation !!!

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1997_12.html

(7) A prosecution shall not be brought in a case in which an offence under this section is alleged to have been committed in relation to an advertisement if—

( a ) the advertisement is exempted development within the meaning of the Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963, or is a notice displayed or erected in pursuance of a requirement by or under any enactment, or

( b ) the advertisement—

(i) advertises a public meeting, other than an auction, or

(ii) relates to a presidential election within the meaning of the Presidential Elections Act, 1993, a general election or a bye-election, within the meaning, in each case, of the Electoral Act, 1992, a local election within the meaning of the Local Government Act, 1994, a referendum, within the meaning of the Referendum Act, 1994, or an election of representatives to the Assembly of the European Communities,

unless the advertisement has been in position for 7 days or longer after the day specified in the advertisement for the meeting or the latest day upon which the poll was taken for the election, bye-election or referendum concerned.

author by Mick Butler - CFSDpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 18:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good on you Spitfire, Sean Ryan and friends. Spitfire elucidates the law, Sean Ryan catches them with their hand in the till and on camera, keep it rolling folks, well done. I was only "followimg orders" says the council worker, Where did we hear that before ? M B

author by John Kelly - CFSDpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 19:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done Mr Ryan and friend ! a horrible success that was. ON camera and "ON the record" lovely hurling altogether. Councillor Dermot Lacey is putting down a motion ! Fine and good Dermot, but that will be in September and we know VERY well how long they can take to vote on and deal with motions, months and sometimes years. I suggest that your goodself and all councillors immediately write to the City and Asst City Managers and instruct them to inform their subordinates at DCC not to remove organisations posters where they have have subscribed to the formula agreed at DCC on May 22, 2006. This is the will of the people, the public servants at DCC are required to be neutral transmission belts for carrying out the policies of the elected representatives of the people.

We do not live in a dictatorship, as much as some of these public servants would appear to relish that we did. Matt Twomey Asst City Manager told councillor Joan Collins a month ago that permission would be given to all requests for posters for public and community events as per the May 22nd change of policy, pending the hiring of extra staff to administer the new policy. The old policy was unlawful in any event, the new policy reflects they law and again, the will of the people. Now it is not that complicated a concept to get one's head around. We want our elected representatives to ensure that the law of the land and the policy of DCC is upheld and enforced, end of story. J K

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 20:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat C, I do not have a personal or otherwise, vendetta against Dermot Lacey. I have only ever replied to him in two articles, where I was described as 'far left' and supportive of tyranny, amongst many other slurs. You would do well to keep your slander and invective to yourself. Yourself and Dermot exchanging emails is not what I'd consider 'following up' on this issue.

Dermot, I didn't reply to your comment simply because I don't like you and because I've already answered the points and lack of progress that you refer to, elsewhere on Indymedia. And to be blunt, I don't wish to involve myself in another slagging match with you. My article is all the communication from me that you should require. The facts are quite simple and the solution is even simpler. Putting a motion for next September is simply not adequate, as John Kelly has pointed out above.

Joe Crosbie told at least one staff member to pull down all the posters he encountered on O'Connell St.

Ask him if he make the decision to do this off his own back. (This is not rocket science).

It's all pretty simple. If he has chosen to break the law off his own back, then thats grounds for having his p45 ready for him when he returns from his 'break,' at the very least. If he has followed orders, then move on up the food chain like I've already said and still prepare his p45. Prepare a p45 for everyone who promoted and caused the law to be broken.

This ban has been in effect for years, and people like you Dermot, and your pen pal, Pat C, think it appropriate to engage in more discussion on the issue. This is pathetic and totally unacceptable. If you cannot do better than this Dermot, I respectfully say to you, that the job you hold is too much for you, and that you should step aside and allow someone more capable to do it, in your stead. September indeed... Are your wages on holiday too?

author by pat cpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 20:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You indulged yourself in a personalised attack on Dermot Lacey in the article. Now why attack one councillor? There are 52 on the council. Why didnt you contact Dermot as he requested? I did.

Dermot has raised the issue and it will be on the agenda of the September meeting of the Council. You however think "This is pathetic and totally unacceptable". " Putting a motion for next September is simply not adequate" Is there anything Dermot could do to satisfy you? Are you not aware that it is the City Manaager is responsible for staff and the Council doesnt meet in August.

Arer you suggesting that Crosbie should be sacked without a hearing?

Perhaps Crosbys union might have something to say about that.

You really should reconsider your position in the campaign if as you say "Dermot, I didn't reply to your comment simply because I don't like you". So you are going to let your personal grudges get in the way of the campaign.

author by Nan Searypublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who is Mr Ryan representing? A member of the Council has offered to help and indeed is helping by proposing a motion for the Councils September meeting. But all Mr Ryan can do is insult Dermot Lacey.

Regarding what Mr Crosbie may or may not have said to the workers has Mr Ryan ever heard of hearsay? Mr Ryan has prejudged the case by saying that heads must roll. He has convicted Mr Crosby without a trial. I am relatively new to Indymedia but I believe it has a readership of over 100,000 per month. On the basis that he has been tried and convicted in the media, Mr Crosbie could now sucessfully thwart any discplinary action against him. Well done Sean Ryan.

This campaign must succeed but it will not do so if offers of help are spurned because of personal dislikes. Nor will the campaign succeed if Sean Ryan and others continue to prejudge issues. If you encounter an abuse of power then gather your evidence and lodgea complaint. You cannot act as prosecutor, Judge and Jury. Sean I hope you learn a valuable from this. stop damaging the campaign.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 21:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nan Seary, my little anagram. I have not indulged in hearsay. I have reported verbatim what was said to me. Neither have I convicted Joe Crosbie, I have called for an investigation into his actions or his inaction with regard to Council directives.

I would kindly advise you to familiarise yourself with the topic matter before you presume to speak authoritively on the matter.

Thanks also for your legal advice, but since it's incorrect and based on your imagination, rather than what you've read here, you'll understand why I won't be taking it seriously.

author by John Kelly - CFSDpublication date Fri Jul 28, 2006 22:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat c inferred that the city manager calls the shots, fair enough and if he is on holidays his assisstant will be at the wheel or SOMEONE will be at the wheel of DCC, that is always the case in the civil service. So rocket science it is not , a directive goes out from the senior public servant at the controls in DCC to cease ripping down posters in violation of DCC policy. Dermot can you attend to this matter, it gets difficult to write temperately about these charachters, Crosby, Keegan, O'Keeffe etc. I cannot see why it cannot be fast tracked in this simple manner that I am suggesting.

All the best and speed the day J K

author by pat cpublication date Sat Jul 29, 2006 19:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I want to see this crap stopped as soon as possible as well. But an individual councillor like dermot cannot issue instructions to the city manager. i would also point out that Sean Ryan said that he wanted to see heads roll. People, even senior public servants, have the right to defend themselves, anf have the right to a fair hearing before they are disciplined.

I hope your campaign accepts support from all parties and doesnt drive away support because individual members take dislikes to certain councillors.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sat Jul 29, 2006 20:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have not said that Dermot can issue instructions. It's very obvious that he cannot. Indeed the supposed will of the council itself is ignored with regard to this poster ban.

The law is being broken - end of story. I want to see heads roll. If I break the law, I'll be punished - why should these lawbreakers be different?

I'm all for a fair hearing and all that other good stuff, but let's get the ball rolling and be done talking about it.

I don't think Dermot will stop saying he supports free speech and democracy because I dislike him Pat. You might feel otherwise or even know otherwise - if this is the case let me know. Until then give it a rest, and give Dermot a bit more credit.

As for toning down, not a chance. From Monday onwards, any worker who pulls free speech from the lampposts of Dublin will be photographed doing so. These photos will be published on Indy and elsewhere, with no copyright or copyleft whatsoever.

We've asked - now we're telling.

End the ban on the publication of public notices.

author by pat cpublication date Sat Jul 29, 2006 21:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"As for toning down, not a chance. From Monday onwards, any worker who pulls free speech from the lampposts of Dublin will be photographed doing so. These photos will be published on Indy and elsewhere, with no copyright or copyleft whatsoever."

I never suggested the Campaign or you should not photograph or report any council worker who pulls down posters. Full steam ahead on that. I suggested that you take care that you dont drive anyone away from the campaign. Labour should be welcomed into the campaign. Any councillor who supports free speech should be welcomed.

author by John Kelly - CFSDpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 02:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fine Pat, whatever it takes. I welcome support from whatever quater to put a stop to this political censorship by supposedly neutral and impartial civil servants. I suggest that all councillors write to the City Manager and his assisstant as a matter of urgency so that we know what these people are going to do to put a stop to this behaviour forthwith and we get their replies in writing.

"Time is precious here"
JK

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat C has suggested that Labour should be welcomed into the campaign.

It is not for me to welcome anybody into the campaign. This effects everyone equally, and one is either involved in it or one is not. It is not a matter of excluding anyone (DCC have already done this) or inviting anyone.

Labour have had nothing whatsoever to say about the poster ban. Neither have they done anything about it. Individual councillors like Dermot Lacey have voted to lift the Ban last May. And that is the sum total of their input into this campaign. One might add that voting to keep the poster ban would have been seen as ruining the chances of getting voted in, the next time round, so even this miniscule input can be seen to be tarnished.

If Political Party posters were banned, would we see Labour and other Parties voice their collective opinions?

I think so. And I think the fact that they still remain silent on this national disgrace, that has been ongoing for years now, is very telling and is in itself a national disgrace, and I'm outraged. And I refuse point blank to pander to and beg them for support now.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 02:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are 52 Councillors on Dublin City Council and there might as well be none for all the use they've been with regard to the long running saga of the live poster ban. Even when Councillors, eventually, get around to vote to have the illegal poster ban imposed by DCC lifted, they are not listened to, and the City Managers and other members of the chain gang feel fit to ignore the decisions of the elected Councillors, and go over their heads and carry on regardless with their policy of removal of all posters, regardless of what they are advertising (I've witnessed a DCC worker remove a Samaritan's poster awhile back and a member of the An Garda Síochána remove poster re. British Warship demo). Unfortunately, I had no camera on me when I witnessed these.

On second thoughts, I don't understand why we have to wait until September. It should simply be a matter that Councillors should ring the DCC and ask for an explanation as to why they are continuing with their unlawful behaviour and to request that the law be upheld, and that they desist from all law breaking actions in future. If I broke a rule set by the Company I work for I would be called in and reprimanded sternly on the spot with no excuses accepted.

Also, I don't understand the criticisms directed at Seán Ryan at all. I perfectly understand his frustration with a system that is obviously not working and is inefficient and can't even implement its own rules and is totally undemocratic. Cllr. Lacey says he's bringing it up in September (bualadh bos!) and people are wondering why Seán Ryan is pissed off over this - I thought it would be bleedin obvious that someone would be pissed off over this extreme delay, jaysus, things move at a snail's pace in the Council alright!!!

Also, Seán Ryan is entitled to express a dislike for Cllr. Lacey and not respond to him if he wants to, nothing wrong with this at all. I doubt if Cllr. Lacey who has stated he is a democrat or any other DC Councillor will withdraw support because of somone's dislike of them, but if they do it will be noted!!!

This poster ban affects all, no organisation's posters (Samaritans, Missing Persons posters) is exempted from Dublin City Council's attacks on democracy in the City.

I'll be carrying a camera out and about in future!

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sheepstealer I confirm that I will not be withdrawing my support for the campaign because of the personal dislike that Sean Ryan has for me. I would still prefer to speak directly with him and try and sort out differences though.

As for the various other comments about the slow nature of Local Government. I share most of those. it is a frustrating system which is why I have committed myself to working within that political areana to try and help change it. Too many people have used it to "advance" to the Dail. That is not my intention.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 14:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well there you have it folks, Cllr. Dermot Lacey, is contining on with the fight against the poster ban and has survived the first blow from Seán Ryan and will not be retreating into a corner or throwing in the towel, because someone expressed a critical opinion about him. Councillors are tougher than Pat C and others give them credit for. I'm sure they're well used to giving out and taking criticism.

Go raibh míle agat to Cllr. Lacey for clearing that up as Pat C & others were in fear that you'd run off on us!!!

author by F.E.M. - F.E.M.publication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 22:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dutch have ears for Dublin's blind city council's wrongdoings
The Dutch recently helped out on Indy.nl to name and shame the Dublin city council who bans posters. They also found out the recent plans of the said council. Europe knows who the losers in Ireland are.
They also found out the recent plans of the said council who apperently plan not to abolish posters at all but to make only certain area's available to the people. These area's will be so much in demand that only cartain people with influence will be on top of the list to place their posters. The common Joe No Dough will allways be on the bottom of the waiting list. Someone in Ireland should check out if this is Dublin's plans indeed and what more they are coocking up for us people.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Minister for Justice has updated his website today with a speech about a new website that highlights missing children. I have taken the following comments from his speech.

"As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and for many people a picture is much more powerful than a written description, however detailed. It may be that a photograph will either jog someone's memory or act as a spur to their conscience."

And...

"When one looks at the names of children who have gone missing in Ireland being included on the website one readily identifies names that have entered and remained in the public consciousness, unfortunately for the saddest of reasons. We also see how long some of these children have been missing and it reminds us once again of the need for these cases to be resolved in order to put and end to the suffering being endured by their families, friends and communities."

Wonder why he doesn't care about the poster ban!!

http://www.justice.ie/80256E01003A02CF/vWeb/pcJUSQ64VBGM-ga

author by anonpublication date Tue Aug 15, 2006 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

via http://www.politics.ie/viewtopic.php?t=13465

62 litter fines have been given to the Wicklow hunger strike committee for putting up posters of the 10 hunger strikers and black flags. Each fine is for €125 which totals €7750. The posters and flags where put up as each anniversary happened and taken down within 7 days.
21 days have been given to pay or a prosecution in respect of the "offence" will be insitituted- such an offence carries a maxium penalty of €3000.

All the posters where taken down by the Council in Bray within 2 days of going up and litter fines given.

http://www.unison.ie/bray_people/stories.php3?ca=34&si=...14416

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Tue Aug 15, 2006 22:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is a thundering disgrace that Bray Town Council removed posters and flags commemorating the 10 brave hunger strikers within two days of them being displayed and then have the audactiy to fine the Wicklow Hunger Strike Committee, if this is true, then this is fraud of the highest order. In my opinion, this is a very worrying development, as I suspect this poster ban and the fines associated with it are being used by swindling Councils around Ireland to raise funds fraudulently. Also, the fact that the posters were commemorating the 10 brave hunger strikers makes this story even more repugnant!

These poster fines which are unjustifiable should not be paid as I suspect they are being use as a smoke screen to obtain money by deception.

I would love to know how much money is made annually from such poster fines.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Wed Sep 06, 2006 00:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As promised I raised this issue at the first opportunity which occurred at a meeting of the Environment Strategic Policy Committee of the City Council today. I am not a member of that Committee but attended because in order to keep my promise.

At the meeting the Manager, Matt Twomey said in response to a question I raised that instructions had been issued to Council Staff not to remove posters pending the adoption of a scheme by the Council to order and regulate this issue.

In reponse to further questions from myself and Cllr Doolin the Manager gave a committment to issue a copy of that instruction to Councillors. As soon as I receive this I will copy it to the Indymedia site. The Right to Free Speech and free campaigning is something I hold to be precious and I will work with all and any campaigning groups to ensure that it is upheld.

I will keep you informed.

Dermot Lacey

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Wed Sep 06, 2006 18:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I meant to add that if anyone has examples of posters being taken down as and from the committment given to us yesterday that they would inform me.

author by (A)narchopublication date Wed Sep 06, 2006 19:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep us informed..
Pain in the arse this bullshit ban is.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 02:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done and thanks to Cllr. Lacey for raising the issue again and again.... etc. and giving us an update and also to Cllr. Doolin for raising it again and again freisin.

Please englighten me Cllr. Lacey on what is meant by, "pending the adoption of a scheme by the Council to order and regulate this issue"(?) Whatever do they mean, and what sort of excuse for an answer is this from them? How will they order and regulate the lawful right of citizens to put up posters advertising public meetings, Samaritans hotline and Missing Persons etc.?

Yes, I can see clearly now, Cllr. Lacey, they are fobbing ye off yet again, keeping ye at bay. Those with responsibilty for the day-to-day running of DCC must employ a section of people to come up with on the spot ready-to-go-excuses for delays.

While I was writing this the lyrics of a song were swirling around in me head it goes something like this "And nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all, the needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before!" - I dedicate these lyrics to Dublin City Council - no explanation necessary.

Go raibh maith agat.

author by TrollWatchpublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"instructions had been issued to Council Staff not to remove posters pending the adoption of a scheme by the Council to order and regulate this issue."

What part of the above do you not understand? Posters will not be removed. Do you get that part? A new scheme will be adopted. That scheme will be discussed by the councillorrs and they will no doubt seek submissions.But in the meantime posters will not be removed.

I suspect that you are more interested in bashing councillors than in getting any regulations passed.

I am also curious about the campaign. When and where does it meet? There is no sign of any of its meetings being advertised in the Events section. If the CFSD were to hold open meetings then more people might get involved. Thats not possible at the moment as only a few seem to be involved and are not exactly welcoming to new recruits.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't blame you for being cynical. I am all the time myself. As I understand it between now and the adoption of an agreed scheme Posters will not be taken down.

There is some agreement that some sort of protocol on this issue should be agreed. That was the included in the motion submitted by Joan and Dessie.

The protocol would include things like time scales for removing them, heights of posters so as not to interfere with pedestrians or block signs etc.

Management will probably want other issues included and it will be up to us Councillors that any of these do not interfere with the basic principle of Free Speech. A Draft Protocol was presented at the Environment Committee on Tuesday and a number of us made clear that as drafted it was totally unacceptable. It has now been referred to the various Party Groups for discussion.

I will keep people updated as much as I can on this.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Fri Sep 08, 2006 01:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cllr. Lacey,

Thank you for enlightening me on what was meant by 'order and regulate' , although I remain my skeptical self. I hope that there will not be an over kill of rules and regulations with regard to the poster protocol, I'm having visions of an 'Inspector of Posters' going about the place with his/her measuring tape to ensure the posters comply with height restrictions and tearing them all down if they be a little bit out! There are far too many rules and regulations bordering on the ridiculous (while accepting there has to be a few rules, these should be kept to the bare minimum to simplify the process, but I suspect an attempt will be made to make the process as difficult as possible for people).

"Troll Watch" quoted the only bit of the sentence I was clear on. For the record, I've no interest in "Councillor bashing", I have other interests. Councillors were elected by the people and, therefore, are answerable to the people and members of the public are quite entitled to seek clarification on matters that concern them and this was what I was doing. I was concerned on reading Cllr. Lacey's statement that further restrictive rules may be sneakingly being brought in to hinder peoples' fundamental right to display posters around the City. Sin a meid.

Ádh mór ort!

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