The Minister for the Environment has confirmed to the Dáil that bye-elections will take place in Dublin South and Dublin Central on 5 June.

That is the same day as the local and European elections.

The seats were left vacant by the deaths of Séamus Brennan of Fianna Fáil and Independent Tony Gregory.

Fine Gael is claiming victory after the announcement to hold both the bye-elections on the same day as the European election.

However Mr Gormley, who made the announcement in a Dáil debate on a Fine Gael proposal, said the party's motion had no logic and made no sense.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said his party’s motion was a test of the Government's courage.

Labour’s Ruairi Quinn told the house there was a need for a new Government that would tackle problems differently.

Independent TD Finian McGrath said it was a disgrace non-party TDs were not allowed time in tonight’s debate, particularly as one of the vacancies was caused by the death of Independent TD Tony Gregory.

As Mr Gormley stood to make his announcement he ridiculed the Fine Gael motion.

He said if successful it would have meant mid-May bye-elections a few weeks ahead of the European and local polls with all the added cost that involved.

However he conceded that the logic of that meant that all the elections should be held on 5 June and that was what the Government had decided.

Under the circumstances the issue was not forced to a vote.

Earlier, Minister Gormley issued a reminder to all candidates in the elections that posters may not be erected any earlier than 6 May.

Recent legislation clarified the time period during which candidates may exhibit election posters and the Minister announced that for this year's local and European elections candidates may only erect posters from 30 days before the polling date.

The requirement for candidates to remove all posters within seven days of the poll still remains, so all posters must be down by 12 June.

The new time limits were introduced to reduce the levels of litter
arising from election posters.

Other requirements, set out in the Road Traffic Acts, prohibit the erection of posters in certain places which might impact on the line of sight of road users.

John Gormley reminded candidates that they are statutorily required to show details of the person on whose behalf the posters are erected and also the printers' details on all election posters.

Failure to comply with these requirements is also an offence.