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Breathnach defends decision to erect election poster on Queen’s building

Breathnach defends decision to erect election poster on Queen’s building

Local TD Declan Breathnach has denied that a billboard poster erected in Dundalk at the weekend promoting his General Election campaign has broken any planning laws.

The Fianna Fáil deputy and his supporters rose at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning to erect a huge banner calling on people to vote for him in next month’s election on the Queen’s Building at the Market Square/Crowe Street.

The team of six spent an hour and a half erecting the poster but a number of people contacted Talk of the Town this morning to express their displeasure at the advert and querying whether it was legal.

Their complaints originate from a planning dispute local solicitor Catherine Fee had with the council last year after she erected a sign on the building promoting her business which is based there. Her bid to retain the advert was rejected by Louth County Council with the enforcement office instructing her to take it down.

Signage from Catherine Fee solicitors which was ordered to be removed last year

Readers have said “double standards” are at play if a politician is allowed to use the building to promote their campaign with one pointing out that laws on election posters do not cover billboard advertisements, which come under regular planning laws.

While others have branded the advertisement as “disgraceful”, Deputy Breathnach told Talk of the Town that he was happy that no planning laws had been broken.

He said: “This is an election poster and not permanent signage. Planning permission is needed for permanent signage.

“The same recycled sign was used in this location at the last election and will be removed as it was in the last election immediately after polling day.”

He added: “Permission to use the location was given to me by the property owner.”