Irish Rail has warned that it will prosecute any individual found erecting election posters on its property particularly railway bridges a practice which the company has described as reckless and dangerous.
Company staff removed a dozen local and European election posters from one bridge at Corrovorrin in Ennis, Co Clare in recent days while the issue has occurred in other parts of the country also.
With less than four weeks to go to polling day in the local and European elections, candidates and their supporters have been busy erecting posters across the country.
While many opt for the relative safety of roadside power and telecommunications poles and road signs, others have been taking their lives in their hands by climbing onto operational railway lines to hang placards from bridges.
In Ennis, candidates or their support team members either climbed onto the Ennis to Galway rail line or placed ladders on the busy R352 and stopped traffic to erect their posters.
The posters of at least 5 candidates were removed from both sides of the structure which straddles one of the county’s busiest roads. The posters appeared on the bridge, in some cases, even before the legal time frame that allowed them do so.
However, Irish Rail does not permit election candidates place posters on any of it’s properties and has said that any posters will be removed immediately.
Irish Rail has also warned candidates and their representatives that they endanger their own safety if they trespass on railway lines in order to erect posters and placards.
Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny said: “Either they are trespassing on the line, or they are putting ladders or other means of access up against the bridge from the road – either way, it is reckless and dangerous.”
“We do not permit any posters for any candidates or parties on our property, least of all bridges. We will remove all such posters at the first opportunity. We would advise all candidates and parties to advise their agents that they are trespassing by placing these signs on the bridge, putting themselves and others in danger, and are liable to prosecution,” Mr Kenny said.
We would definitely seek to prosecute any individual engaged in trespass,” he warned.
The company has not said whether any action has been taken previously against people or whether any cases are pending.
The company added that it’s ban on posters excludes dedicated commercial advertising sites such as billboards on its property, which are managed for the company by a third party.