Moate local election candidate Michael O'Brien.

Moate candidate reports multiple thefts of his election posters

Michael O'Brien, an Independent local election candidate for the Moate area, expressed outrage at what he described as the "large-scale theft" of his election posters in recent days.

"Last Saturday morning, I received a call informing me that my 8-foot by 4-foot sign, which was bolted to the gable end of the Moate Sports shop, had been taken down," said Mr O'Brien.

"This sign was on private property and was securely bolted to the wall. The culprit, or culprits, had to put a lot of work into removing this one.

"Also, on Saturday morning, we had a sighting of a man in a white van using a ladder to take down a poster of mine in Drumraney and throwing it over a wall. Later that day, another poster was reported taken down in Streamstown.

"Earlier in the week, posters were also removed in Mount Temple. A witness has come forward, stating that he saw a white van with dimmed lights acting suspiciously in the village at 4:30am on Tuesday morning."

Mr O'Brien, who is hoping to return to Westmeath County Council, having previously served on the local authority from 2014 to 2019, said he reported the poster thefts to the Gardai.

He described them as a "planned and orchestrated attack" on his campaign.

"These actions are very sad and pathetic. It seems some people must be very worried about the momentum of my campaign!" he remarked.