The Poster Boys Of Politics

With the upcoming 8th referendum merely weeks away the sight of evocative posters and election material emanating from both sides of the campaign has become more and more visible and indeed with a potential General Election possible on the cards in the next 12 months there is no doubt we’re in for a barrage of in your face electioneering for the foreseeable future.

Political posters are by their nature safe and sensible but there are some exceptions. Below are some of our favorites from recent Irish elections.

 Straight to The Point

  • Candidate: Clifford T Reid’s
  • Election:  2004 European Election
  • Contingency: Ireland East

We have all heard of one issue candidates but this is certainly on the extreme end! Laudable as Clifford’s aims may have been he didn’t quite get the public support he needed. The Athy man’s ambition was to take his message to the big wigs in Europe and stood in the 2004 European elections. Reid decided to contest the European elections as an independent in the old Ireland East constituency securing 2.4% of the vote or 10,692 first preference votes in old money. Not a bad return to be fair but just not quite good enough; but his poster was certainly a pole topper!

A Novel Approach To The Recession

  • Candidate: Paul McAdam (did not officially participate in election)
  • Election: 2009 Local Elections
  • Constituency: Unknown

European elections appear to be a goldmine for the more sublime election posters. This one from Paul McAdam had a very clear message,  he was aiming to party through the recession!

As we look back on those somber times it’s important to remember we may have lost our economic sovereignty  but not our sense of humour. Unsurprisingly Adam didn’t get the chance to represent us at European level but we appreciate his efforts to bring some levity to what were some very serious times none the less

The Midlands Man!

  • Candidate: John Bracken
  • Election: 2011 General Election
  • Constituency: Laois/Offaly

The Ballycumber based skip hire magnate managed to secure 625 first preferences votes in the 2011 General Election. John had  a plethora of issues he wanted to take on, one that sadly skipped his attention however was the use of spell check on his campaign literature.

As a quick read of his aspiration leaflet shows  unfortunately Johns attention to detail left a bit to be desired and was riddled with spelling mishaps,  still his heart was in the write place and just look at that hair, a thing of beauty!

Willies  Simple Message

  • Election: 2014 Local Elections
  • Candidate: Willie Crowley
  • Constituency: Kildare/Kildare –Newbridge Electoral Area

The late Newbridge councillor  clearly had a sense of humour and these beauties adorned the Newbridge area in the run up to the 2014 local elections. Far from a gimmick local candidate Crowley was duly elected to Kildare Council in the subsequent election. Crowley was well known as a hard working local representative but tragically a little over a year later died as a result of a hit and run incident in his native Newbridge in 2015. His legacy as a politician will certainly live on,  as will his tongue-in-cheek approach to campaigning.

Kenny’s Keeping It Real!

  • Candidate: Kenny Egan
  • Election: 2014 Local Elections
  • Constituency:  Dublin South/Clondalkin Electoral Area

The celebrity candidate has had mixed success in Ireland, perhaps Donald Trump’s success across the big pond might go some way to improving the odds for well-known faces putting their hats in the political ring.

A quick look at The Late Late Show shows us that we here are hard pressed for celebrates in Ireland and even rarer are those with public personas getting elected to political office. Olympic silver medalist Kenny Egan managed to buck the trend getting elected to Dublin South Council in 2014 for Fine Gael with the simple mission to ‘keep it real’Short and Snappy but it worked.

There has been some speculation that Egan might fancy his chances in the big ring and push for the Dail in the coming years,  we’ll have to see if he can deliver the knockout blow to his competitors.

PDs Want To Deliver

Of course election campaigning certainly isn’t confined to the run up to an election. Political parties of every hue are by their nature always on election footing. Who knows when a government is going to fall; just ask Theresa May!

With that in mind political party’s like to regularly  touch base with the electorate  reminding the great un-washed of their achievements. This effort from the PD’s in the mid noughties is one such example. The party is now defunct but this piece of political mastery will live on long, long in the memories.

Location, Location, Location!!

  •  Candidate: Tom Shortt
  • Election: 2014 Local Elections
  • Constituency: Limerick City

There isn’t much wrong here with former Labour Cllr Tom Short’s actual poster from the 2014 local elections,  it’s more to do with its unfortunate location.

Children may not have the vote but parents do and this suplimable message must have scared off the adults as the then incumbent councilor didn’t regain his seat on the Limerick City Council in the subsequent election. It may also have hampered the former councilors ability to take on any babysitting gigs!

The Honest Approach

  • Candidate: Dave Keavney
  • Election: 2014 Local Elections
  • Constituency: Meath East/ Laytown-Bettystown electoral area

This might seem like a practical joke and indeed it started off as one but the man behind the quite brillaintly named Don’t Give A Feck  Party, Dave Keaveney from Duleek, Co Meath did officially run in the 2014 Local elections as an independent  in the Meath East constituency. Dave had a simple approach to politics, amongst the party’s  polices was to;

‘Give Ireland back to England and apologise for the state it’s in’

Keaveney ran in the Laytown-Bettystown electoral area and managed to convince  385 people to part with their first preference vote,  a mere 1446 votes behind eventual  pole topper Sinn Fein’s Eimear Ferguson and failed to win a seat. Still it would be nice to see his novel honest approach to politics reflected in some of the larger parties ethos.

With modern communications platforms changing all the time and increased environmental concerns we could soon see the end of election posters donning the polls and railings of our nation. It’s nice to remember that amongst the PR machine of today’s party politics there is still a place  for those  independently minded candidates who aren’t afraid to show a bit of personality amongst the general blandness of electioneering.