Castleisland Tidy Towns committee issued a statement expressing its sadness at seeing ‘our beautiful Main Street being defaced with posters again this year.’
“The committee has made it known over the years that there are plenty of open spaces on the outskirts of town for advertising events.”
These are the opening salvo of a release from the Tidy Towns committee issued to The Maine Valley Post by committee PRO and biodiversity officer, Shane McAuliffe.
Mr. McAuliffe issued the statement with the full blessings of the committee and he also posted it on the committee Facebook page.
A Considerable Ripple of Anger
It caused a considerable ripple of anger amongst festival goers at last evening’s gathering on Lower Main Street.
The gist of the comments, and I’m omitting the strong language used in the points made, were that after over two years of a lock-down and nothing moving on streets anywhere, why, as soon as one group of people try to bring a few evenings of entertainment to the town, would another wade in with such criticism?
Why Criticise Now
People also pointed out that Desmonds GAA Club postered the area for its recent fun day and the Kerry Hospice Foundation branch did likewise for its Good Friday walk and there were posters within the confines of the town for the Easter Sunday Dawn Mass and so on.
So why criticise now and why on this event which represents a statement of liberation from lock-down and all that went with it?
Tidy Town’s Longstanding Policy
However, the Tidy Towns group said that its longstanding policy has banned any form of social or political postering within the town itself and says that: “Surely there is a wide enough platform on social media for such publicity and 2022 is the first year since the pandemic that the Tidy Towns judges will visit the town.”
They also said that there’s a road safety aspect to postering and bill-boarding on a large scale.
A local driver complained to the group that large boards near the Con Houlihan monument on Lower Main Street present a serous road safety hazard by blocking views of converging traffic turning around the fountain and coming down Main Street into that junction.
Another concern of the Tidy Towns group is that judging began on June 11th and will continue until the middle of August.
“We never know when a judge might visit the town and we have put a lot of effort during the past year into encouraging property owners on the Main Street to avail of the Shopfront Enhancement Scheme and we have carried out our summer planting scheme.
“Thanks to the business and property owners and the Tidy Towns volunteers the street looks great.
“While we fully acknowledge that these events are of great benefit to the community we are nevertheless appealing to the organisers to keep posters off the Main Street,” the statement concludes.
All Posters Removed
Just before going to print with this, Cllr. Charlie Farrelly, in his capacity as chairman of the current festival committee, confirmed that all posters for this week’s festival have been removed today except those advising motorists of the street closure – and these are a legal requirement under the conditions in which the closures were granted.
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