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Breathnach removes election banner despite claiming he breached no planning laws

Breathnach removes election banner despite claiming he breached no planning laws

Local TD Declan Breathnach has made a dramatic U-turn and removed a billboard election poster promoting his General Election campaign from Dundalk town centre.

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 yesterday morning to express their displeasure at the advert and querying whether it was legal.

The Declan Breathnach poster, pictured above main yesterday, was removed from the building early this morning as can be seen above

Despite local solicitor Catherine Fee having to remove a sign promoting her business which was placed on the building last year after losing a planning appeal, Deputy Breathnach denied claims from readers of Talk of the Town – subsequently put to him by this website – that he had broken any planning laws.

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.”

However, readers complained of “double standards” with one pointing out that laws on election posters do not cover billboard advertisements, which come under regular planning laws.

It appears the Fianna Fáil deputy has taken heed of this with the poster removed early this morning.