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Proposed Protocol for the authorisation of erection of temporary posters/notices on Cork City Council property to advertise public meetings/events.

Consultation on Posters Protocol. Background

There is no absolute right to erect posters for public meetings, events, campaigns or commercial activities.

Section 19 of the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009 sets out a framework of prohibition  on notices. It sets out exceptions i.e. meetings, events, elections or notices facilitated under enactments.  However, there are constraints on periods of display and an overarching requirement that authorisation in advance must be provided by the owner, occupier or person in charge of the property on which the notice/advertisement  is to be displayed. 

There has been a growing trend of posters being erected, in particular, on lamp standards,  traffic poles, etc. There has been a perception that as these are in a public realm that there is freedom for all to use them for displaying purposes.  This is not the case. Whilst display of meeting posters within certain timeframes is not an offence the Local Authority, in the absence of advance authorisation,  1s entitled to remove such displays. 

Conscious of a responsibility  to not unduly restrict freedom of expression, Cork City Council is considering a protocol to facilitate authorisation, within certain parameters, of the use of City Council poles for display of information  notices for meetings and events. It is not intended to facilitate commercial activities.


 1 .   Application

It is proposed that in general an application is made at least 7 working days in advance of when the notices are to be erected. There is a commitment to turn around an authorisation  or rejection within 3 working days. It is also required that details of the posters, area for which authorisation is requested and confirmation of health and safety guidelines are provided.

 2      Conditions

(a)         This protocol is solely to facilitate notifications  for meeting and events.

(b)         Posters deemed to be vulgar or offensive will not be authorised. The assessment of vulgarity and offensives  will endeavour to be reasonable  and informed by opinion of public representatives  on the Environment and Recreation Functional Committee of Cork City Council.

(c)         As the posters are intended to give information about meetings or events at least 75% of the poster area should be used to set out the details.

(d)        It is proposed to limit size of posters to A2 (600mm x 650mm i.e. 2ft by 18in). It is deemed that this should provide adequate legibility for pedestrians and slow moving traffic. Sizes in excess of this are likely to be obstructive, intrusive and pose a greater hazard.

(e)        It is proposed to set a limit to the number of posters displayed. The proposed limit of 100 is thought to be an adequate level of notification  for a City the size of Cork.

 (f)        It is also proposed to limit the density of postering to one double poster i.e. two posters back to back in any 100 metre length of roadway. If there are multiple events being notified during the same period even this may be excessive.

(g)      Posters can only be placed on poles which are the property of Cork City Council.  In general poles with wires attached are not City Council property and no authorisation can be given by the City Council. Because of the nature of their function there are restrictions on attachment of posters to traffic sign poles. No authorisation  will be given for posters on traffic signal poles, barriers or railings.

(h)      It is essential that posters are properly secured to poles and subsequently  fully removed including ties. Posting of posters to poles is classified as defacement  and is an offence which can give rise to prosecution under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009.   

(i)      It is proposed that no notices will be authorised for St. Patrick's Street as it is not deemed to be in keeping with its streetscape.

3.   Insurance, Safety

Hazards associated with posters are

(i)      They may slip down the pole and pose a risk to passing pedestrians or cyclists.

(ii)     They may become detached in windy weather and pose a risk to road users.

It is desirable that public liability insurance is in place to address these risks. If so details are required to be included in the application.

The installation and removal of posters present particular risks to those carrying out work and to other road users. Guidelines have been included in this regard for information.

The purpose of this protocol is to facilitate the notification of meetings and events but in such a manner as to balance the impact on safety, convenience and enjoyment of the public realm by citizens.

Protocol for the Erection of Temporary Posters/Notices on Cork City Council
Property to Advertise Public Meetings/Events

This Protocol sets outs arrangements  to facilitate authorisation  for placement  of meeting  or event notices on Cork City Council property as provided for in the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009 Section 19.1

Please note that posters/notices promoting commercial events are prohibited.

This document provides conditions which must be followed as part of the agreement to put up your posters/notices.

What you need to send:
A Notice of Intent to exhibit your posters/notices on Cork City Council property (which is in or can be seen from a public place) must be submitted  to Cork City Council  not less than 7 working days before it is proposed to exhibit such material. This must be sent by one of the following methods and Cork City Council will respond to all fully completed Notices of Intent within 3 working days.

•    by E-mail to:
•    by Post to: Administrative Officer, Street Cleaning and Litter Management, Room 232 City Hall, Cork.

 The Notice of Intent must include the following information:

1.  All details which are listed in the attached Appendix 1 -"Information to be included in Notice of lntent'

2.  A  statement   that  the  requirements   listed   in  Appendix   2  -"Health  and   Safety Requirements" -will be complied with and that all of the people involved in putting up or removing  posters  have  been  briefed  in relation  to its  contents  and  all relevant Health and Safety Legislation.

3.  A sample poster/notice must be submitted with the Notice of Intent.

Vulgar or offensive content:

You should note that Cork City Council may refuse permission  at anytime to put up any posters/notices  and/or  may  remove  any  posters/notices that  are deemed  to be  vulgar  or offensive.  In the event of such an issue arising Cork City Council will discuss the issue with the  Chairperson  and as  many  members  as  possible  of  the  Environment  &  Recreation Functional Committee before making a decision regarding the issue.

Details which must be put on the Posters/Notices:

The posters/notices must have at a minimum 75% of the poster layout detailing the details of the meeting and this content must be clearly visible to members  of the public. Note for information - The name and picture of the individual hosting the meeting can only take up a maximum 25% of the posters/notices.
The posters/notices must also carry the name and contact details of the person/organisation that is promoting or arranging the meeting or event (e.g. postal address, email address or website).   A case can be made  for withholding  this information  based on safety concerns, but this must be agreed by Cork City Council in advance of putting up the posters/notices.

Size and material to be used for posters/notices:
The maximum size of the posters/notices shall be 450mmx600mm (A2).
All posters/notices must be made of cardboard composites or other  durable  recyclable materials. All posters/notices must be put up at a minimum height of 2.0 metres and a maximum height of 3.0 metres above footpaths, cycle tracks or any area to which pedestrians have access.

When, where and how many posters/notices can be put up/taken down:

A maximum of 100 posters/notices will be permitted in respect of each event which is the subject of an application. No individual group shall erect posters/notices at a greater density than one double poster per 100 metres length of roadway.
Posters/notices must not be put up on lamp standards with overhead line electricity feed, traffic signal poles, bridge parapets, overpasses, pedestrian bridges, or roadside traffic barriers.
Posters/notices erected on lamp standards (without overhead electricity feed), public information signs or traffic poles carrying road signage (e.g. stop, yield, parking control, clearway, bus lane, cycle track, pedestrian and/or directional signage) must not obscure any statutory road signage or traffic/pedestrian signals in any way.
Posters/notices that obscure statutory road signage or traffic/pedestrian signals will be removed.
All posters/notices must be securely fixed to posts/poles with cable ties or similar material to facilitate removal without damage to posts/poles. Adhesive substances (e.g. glue) or other binding materials may not be used. Metal fixings may not be used.

Cork City Council may remove without notice any posters/notices that are not fixed securely to a post/pole.   Cork City Council may also remove any fallen posters/notices and issue proceedings under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009.

Posters/notices are not to be put up more than 30 days prior to a meeting/event and posters/notices and fixings/cable ties must be removed and recovered from all poles/posts within 7 days after the date of the meeting/event.

Cork City Council may remove authorised posters/notices remaining on displayfollowing the expiry of the 7 days referred to in the conditions above.

The Litter Pollution Acts 1997 to 2009 provide for the issuing of an on the spot fine and/or prosecution in respect of posters/notices that are not removed within 7 days after the date of the meeting/event.
Posters/notices will not be authorised on the following streets: 

•       St. Patrick's Street

Insurance requirement:
You are required to provide details, if available, of your public liability insurance as outlined in Appendix 1 (Section 8).



1. Name/Address of Person Promoting the Meeting/Event
Name: Address:
Function/Status of Organisation/Group:

2. Contact Details
Telephone Number
Mobile Number:
Email address:

3. Location where Posters/Notices are to be displayed
Please  indicate  the  area   of  the  city  in   which  you   intend  to  display/exhibit  your posters/notices.

4. Number of posters/notices (approx.) to be displayed (Maximum  100)

5. Date of Meeting/Event 

6. Copy of poster/notice enclosed 

7. Date on which  you wish to commence  putting up the posters/notices (Posters/notices may not be put up more than 30 days prior  to the date of meeting/event): 

8. Public Liability Insurance  Policy

If Public Liability Insurance Policy is in place please submit the fo{{owing details;

•       Policy Number:
•       Expiry Date:
•       Name of Company Providing Cover:
•       Name of Insured:
•      Amount Insured:

If no Public Liability Insurance Policy is in place, please advise.

9. Confirmation: The Notice of Intent submitted to Cork City Council should include confirmation that the promoter of the meeting/event wi{{  (a)  adhere to the City  Council Protocol and (b) that he/she has read the Health and Safety Requirements and briefed a{{ of the people involved in putting up and taking down posters/notices about the contents and all other relevant Health and Safety issues.

In relation to the erection and removal of posters/notices

The main hazard associated with putting up posters/notices etc. is that someone may fall from a height. This commonly results in death or serious injury to the person working on the elevated access work equipment (e.g. Ladder) and, in some cases, physical injury to those in the immediate area. Most of these hazards arise from the following groups of hazards:

Incorrect specification, poor maintenance, electric shock, manual handling injuries, traffic hazards, slips, trips and falls, falling objects /material.

Any person involved in putting up or removing posters/notices  on Cork City Council property must be suitably trained and be fully able to work at heights.

An employer/person who requires the use of elevated access equipment, e.g. ladder, shall be responsible for the following:

  • The correct selection, use and maintenance of the elevated access equipment they use.
  •  That work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.
  •  That work at height is carried out only when weather conditions do not jeopardise the safety and health of employees or other persons. 
  • That work is not carried out at height unless it is reasonably practicable to do so safely and without risk to health. 
  • Take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent an employee or other person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
  • Take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent equipment, tools, materials or other objects falling a distance liable to cause injury to persons or damage to property.
  • Provide appropriate training and instruction or take additional suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is practicable, any employee or another person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

    Any surface upon which a ladder rests shall be stable, firm, of sufficient strength and of suitable composition to support safely the ladder, so that the ladders rungs or steps and any loading intended to be placed on it remain horizontal.

 A ladder should be positioned so that it remains stable during use.

Please click on link below to view Public Notice regarding this.  

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