Regulation of referendum posters "would invite cries of censorship"

Some of the statements and images in the posters have been criticised

Regulation of referendum posters "would invite cries of censorship"

Referendum posters. Images: RollingNews

A former Communications Minister has said that any attempt to regulate the content of referendum posters would lead to cries of censorship.

Posters advocating for both sides in the Eighth Amendment debate have sprung up on lampposts around the country over the past number of weeks ahead of the May 25th referendum.

Some of the statements and images used have come in for criticism, however no one group is responsible for monitoring the material.

The laws that do exist only relate to littering and things like incitement to hatred or violence.

Labour Party Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD, 02-07-2014. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte said authorities have to be extremely careful about regulation – as free speech has to be protected.

“When it comes to taste it is a very difficult area,” he said.

“It doesn’t frequently arise that people are offended by the actual content of posters and I think to intrude or be prescriptive would invite cries of censorship in a contentious campaign like this.