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Becoming a Candidate

4 April 2019

A candidate may nominate himself or herself or may, with the candidate’s consent, be nominated by a proposer. A proposer must be registered as a local government elector in the local electoral area of the local authority for which he or she proposes to nominate the candidate. 
 

The period for receipt of nominations commences at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, 27th April 2019 and ends at 12 noon on Saturday, 4th May 2019

Who is eligible

Eligibility for Election to a Local Authority

  1. Every Irish citizen and every person ordinarily resident in the State, who has reached the age of 18, who is not subject to any of the disqualifications outlined in paragraph (b) below, is eligible for election;
  2.  A person is disqualified for election to a local authority if he/she -
  • is a member of the Commission of the European Communities, or
  • is a member of the European Parliament, or
  • is a Judge, Advocate General or Registrar of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, or
  • is a member of the Court of Auditors of the European Communities, or
  • is a member of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann, or
  • is appointed under the Constitution as a Judge or as the Comptroller and Auditor General, or
  • is a member of the Garda Síochána, or
  • is a full time member of the Defence Forces, or
  • is a civil servant who is not by the terms of his or her employment expressly permitted to be a member of a local authority, or
  • is a person employed by a local authority and is not the holder of a class, description or grade of employment designated by order under section 161(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 2001, or
  • is a person employed by the Health Service Executive and is at a grade or of a description of employment designated by order of the Minister for Health and Children, or
  • is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for any term exceeding 6 months imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the State, or
  • fails to pay any sum or any portion of any sum charged or surcharged by an auditor of the accounts of any local authority upon or against that person, or
  • fails to comply with a final judgement, order or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, for payment of money due to a local authority, or
  • is convicted of, or has had a conviction confirmed on appeal for, an offence relating to fraudulent or dishonest dealings affecting a local authority or corrupt practice or acting when disqualified.

    (Local Government Act 2001, as amended – sections 13 and 13A).
    A person in any of the categories listed above is also disqualified from nomination for election (Local Government Act 2001 – section 2(4))

Nomination process

Nominations will only be accepted through the completion of the official Nomination Paper - LE1 Form 

A candidate may include in their nomination paper the name of the political party, registered in the Register of Political Parties, of which they are a candidate, provided a certificate in the specified form authenticating their candidature is produced at the time the nomination paper is delivered.

A non-party candidate at a local election (i.e. who is not in possession of a certificate of political affiliation authenticating the candidature of a candidate on behalf of a political party registered in the Register of Political Parties), must comply with one or other of the following procedures before the expiration of the time for receiving nominations:

  1. completion of statutory declarations by 15 assenters registered as local electors in the electoral area concerned which must be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths, a Peace Commissioner, a Notary Public, a member of the Garda Síochána or an official of the registration authority
  2. the candidate, or someone on his or her behalf, lodging a deposit of €100 with the Returning Officer.

Nominations will be received by appointment. To make your appointment or if you have any queries please contact:

Kieran O'Donnell
Email: kodonnell@clarecoco.ie
Telphone: (065) 6846226

The period for nominations will be from 10.00 a.m. on Saturday, 27th April 2019 to 12.00 noon on Saturday, 4th May 2019 (excluding Sunday 28th April 2019).

Expenditure and donations

Expenditure

The Local Elections (Disclosure of Donations and Expenditure) Act 1999 provides for an expenditure and donations disclosure regime at local elections. These guidelines are concerned with the statutory obligations for candidates, national agents, designated persons and persons unconnected to a political party or candidate (third parties) at the forthcoming local elections and are issued pursuant to section 18(6) of the Act.

Spending limits, first introduced for the 2009 local elections, were revised by the Local Government Reform Act 2014.The limit depends on the population of the local electoral area, as follows:

Local electoral area population and candidate spending limit

  • Population in excess of 35,000 - €13,000
  • Population between 18,001 and 35,000 - €11,500
  • Population of 18,000 or less - €9,700

Candidates nominated by a political party are deemed to automatically allocate 10% of their spending limit to the party’s national agent. For example, a party candidate with a limit of 13,000 euro would be deemed to automatically allocate 1,300 euro for use by the party. Their effective limit would therefore be 11,700 euro.The 10% figure can be varied upwards or downwards by written agreement between the candidate and national agent.

Election spending incurred during a period before the election must be reported to the local authority concerned and must be below the specified limit. The date of commencement of the spending period is set out in an order made by the Minister before the election and must commence between 50 and 60 days before polling day.

Donations

The following rules apply for donations

  • The maximum amount that can be accepted in the same calendar year by a member of a local authority or by a local election candidate from the same source is 1,000 euro.
  • Details of donations which exceed 600 euro must be disclosed in a statement made to the local authority.
  • A candidate or member of a local authority who receives a monetary donation that exceeds 100 euro must open and maintain a political donations account in a financial institution.

Certain donations are restricted

  • It is prohibited to accept a donation from an anonymous source which exceeds 100 euro.
  • Donations in cash which exceed 200 euro are also prohibited.

There are specific rules covering corporate donations which exceed 200 euro – the donor must be registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission and evidence that the donation was approved by the corporate body must be provided

Election poster guidelines 

The legislation governing placement of posters at election time is The Litter Pollution Act 1997 as amended by the Electoral (Amendment)(No.2) Act 2009. The legislation provides that erection of posters is only permitted from the date the order is made by the Minister appointing the polling day or 30 days prior to the date of the poll, whichever is the shorter period. The order for the Local and European Elections was made on the 25th March 2019. As a result the shorter period will apply which is 30 days prior to the date of the poll.

Therefore posters will be permitted from Wednesday 24th April 2019 until midnight on the 31st May 2019. If posters are in place outside of these dates, fines will be issued by the county council at the rate of €150 per poster.

Safety Concerns

It has been our experience in previous elections that numerous complaints have been received from motorists and pedestrians in relation to safety issues associated with election posters. Our own staff have also raised a number of concerns. The main issues relate to the following:

  • Posters that are obscuring the visibility of traffic/pedestrian signals and traffic signs. Many of the problems are caused by posters that are erected on poles adjacent to signals or signs
  • Posters that are below head height or resting on the ground. These posters can cause obstructions on footpaths and are particularly hazardous to the visually impaired
  • Protruding cable ties that are at a level that could cause injury to pedestrians, particularly children

Where Clare County Council staff become aware of posters that are considered to be causing a hazard they will be removed and disposed of.
 

The following guidelines may be helpful in ensuring that posters are not a hazard to the public

  • Posters should be erected at a minimum height of 2.3 metres above footpaths, cycle tracks or any area to which pedestrians have access
  • Posters should not be erected on lamp standards with overhead line electricity feed, traffic signal poles, bridge parapets, overpasses, pedestrian bridges, or roadside traffic barriers
  • Posters should not obscure statutory road signs or traffic/pedestrian signals in any way
  • Posters should be securely fixed to poles with cable ties or similar material to facilitate removal without damage to the poles

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Page last updated: 04/04/19

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