Dublin has a great history of flyposting, indeed in the past we’ve had some great images here showing the tradition, like this one below from 1923 which jaycarax talked about here. The legality of flyposting in Dublin has been ambiguous historically of course, at present the act is prohibited but in post Celtic Tiger Dublin some sites in the city have become unofficial billboards almost.
Digging through the archives, two unusual incidents grabbed my attention from the 1980s, which saw Ulster loyalists fly-post on the streets of the capital. One incident even saw a certain Rev.Ian Paisley and others pasting posters which simply read ‘ULSTER IS BRITISH’ outside of the General Post Office on O’Connell Street!
In May of 1984, the Democratic Unionist Party flyposted 30,000 posters on the streets of the north, the posters were simple in design and message, simply showing a Union Jack and proclaiming that ‘ULSTER IS BRITISH’. The simple posters were the response of the party to the New Ireland Forum, a forum which Paisley and other unionists were fiercly opposed to. Ian Paisley and other leading figures from the DUP decided to embark on a trip to Dublin, during which they would paste the poster up in a number of key locations in the city, such as at the GPO and also outside the offices of The Irish Times.
Paisley told the newspapers that the photo of him postering at the GPO would take “pride of place” in his home, and that he was “glad to stand where the 1916 proclamation was read”. His only criticism of the south was that the “roads are very bad”. The daring act of postering O’Connell Street was done under cover of darkness at 3am, and among those accompanying Paisley was Peter Robinson.
Two years later, in 1986, Ulster Loyalists would once more poster in Dublin, however unlike Ian Paisley’s daring 3am photoshoot, this was a much larger operation with about 20 members of the Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party involved in a large scale operation across the city. The ULDP were the political wing of the UDA, and the posters were in opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The posters targeted Garrett Fitzgerald and asked ‘What has Fitzgerald ever done for the ordinary people of Dublin?’ and another stated ‘We will never allow Fitzgerald any involvement in our affairs’.
There’s a lot more to write on the tradition of fly-posting in Dublin of course, but these two incidents certainly are unusual.