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County Council reverses ban on pro-life posters

Fingal County Council (FCC) has reversed its recent decision to refuse to allow posters promoting an upcoming pro-life rally to be erected in Fingal. FCC had told the Rally for Life that they would not allow posters advertising the event to be put up in Fingal as the “issue was contentious.

Following reporting by Gript FCC has written to the Rally informing them that the original decision has now been overturned and that the rally was free to put up its posters. The Council also told the organisers of the Rally that the Council will be “carrying out a full examination of its procedures in relation to the issuing of permission for the display of posters on public property,” and that the Council “regretted any inconvenience this has caused.”

Megan Ní Scealláin of the Rally for Life Committee told Gript that the reversal of the ban was “fantastic news,” but added that “while we appreciate the council coming back and reversing this act of censorship, we still haven’t received any explanation of how or why this happened.”

Ní Scealláin added that, due to the delay caused by the Council’s initial decision, it would “likely be impossible for us to get additional posters printed and put up in Fingal before the Rally happens this Saturday.”

Fingal’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cathal Boland, told Gript that “he was surprised to see the story in Gript, and quite amazed that the Council would refuse permission on the basis that the poster was contentious.”

Cllr Boland described the initial decision as “a farce,” but said that he was “very glad” to see the Council reverse course. He stated “everybody is entitled to advertise public meetings. Irrespective of the side you’re on regarding abortion, or on any political matter, people have the right to political discussion.” The Cllr stated that rejecting this view was tantamount to “an attack on democracy.”

Cllr Boland said he was happy to see that FCC will be reviewing their policies in relation to political advertising, and that he would be taking a “keen interest” in “endeavouring to ensure that the new policies are fair and just to all.”

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