Irish Post Office embroiled in political row over postmark advertising
LONDON - Ireland's national post office An Post has found itself in hot water again after allowing republican political party Fianna Fail to advertise on the country's mail.
Last month, Ireland's Chartered Institute of Arbitrators announced it was considering legal action after the state-run postal service agreed to let Fianna Fail, the political party currently in power, promote itself through postmark advertising across Ireland.
Last week, Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern dissolved the Irish parliament, the Dail, in an unexpected move and announced a general election. The election will take place on May 17.
Yesterday Senator Joe Costello, who is running for office as a member of the Irish Labour Party, applied to the High Court in Dublin for an injunction restraining An Post from attaching any political slogan to post sent by members of the public.
He is objecting to the fact that mail is stamped with the words: "Fianna Fail, the Republican Party -- A Lot Done, More to Do" during the three-month period until the end of May.
Costello's case is centred on the alleged unauthorised interference with a letter he sent on March 30 to a senior citizen in his constituency. It had been marked with the Fianna Fail slogan.
Last month, An Post defended its move saying that postmark advertising was used "all over the world". A spokesman said: "We are a commercial company and we have made a commercial decision that we're going to use it in this particular way and we're satisfied this is the way to go."
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