Longford County Council's Head of Finance John McKeon.
Local authority officials are to adopt a more rigorous approach to litter enforcement laws in Longford town amid claims its urban centre is becoming overrun with unsystemtatic postering.
Council bosses have vowed to take a closer look at the problem after it was raised at a Longford Municipal District meeting last week.
Cllr Seamus Butler said he had become concerned at the sudden upsurge of posters being displayed in the town.
“We (Council) seem to be sending out mixed signals with temporary signage with all sorts of things that are put up on poles around the town.
“There was a time where 18 months ago or two years ago as soon as they were put up they were taken down or removed,” he said.
The Longford businessman made specific reference to the amount of advertising which had suddenly appeared, illustrating the services of a medium.
In a somewhat serious, but at the same time tongue in cheek remark, Cllr Butler said it was time the Council put the psychic abilities of that particular individual to the test.
“What I suggest is because of the mess they have made and given that there is a ( telephone) number on it, that a fine be sent out for those and they won’t see that coming,” he quipped.
Those concerns were not the first time anxieties linked to postering and temporary signage have been debated at local political level.
In 2016, Longford County Council came in for national attention in the lead up to the All-Ireland football final between Mayo and Dublin.
A series of locally based businesses with strong Mayo connections accused the local authority of “not being in the spirit of the All-Ireland” after a number of good luck signs towards the Connacht side were removed.
They were memories Cllr Peggy Nolan alluded to as she implied voluntary led groups committed to raising funds for worthy causes were losing out.
“I remember when there was a football match passing through Longford there was hell to pay and people that had genuine goodwill towards,” she recalled.
“I don’t know why it (policy) has been relaxed.
“The only way it should be relaxed is for local fundraising organisations.”
It was a proposal which appeared to draw the support of her Fianna Fáil opposite number.
“Really we want to get our act together.
“There are legitimate events and causes like blood donation and I am sure they will be down as soon as they are gone on Thursday evening or Friday morning but any Joe Soap that sets up something now seems to be able to come in and put up signage with impunity and I think that has to stop.”
Director of Services John McKeon took on board the reservations made by both local representatives, adding it was not the first time concerns relating to clarevoyancy postering had been registered with the Council.
Never one to miss an opportunity to pass a glib remark, Cllr Butler could be seen offering up a wry grin before asking: “Maybe he got sent a sign.”
That prompted an equally flippant response from Cllr Nolan, who said; “Maybe if we all joined hands and said ‘pay your fine’ we might be able to contact him”.
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