The European and local election campaigns get under way in earnest today, with candidates in both contests legally entitled to erect posters since midnight.

There are now just over four weeks left until polling takes place on Friday 24 May, when the electorate will also be asked to cast ballots in the divorce referendum.

Political posters are an integral part of elections in Ireland, informing the voters about who is standing in their area, even if some people view them as an eyesore.

Under the Litter Pollution Act, the posters must be taken down by midnight on 31 May or the candidates risk a local authority fine of €150 per poster.

Some candidates have already risked incurring fines by erecting their political posters before it was legal to do so.

In the European Parliament elections, 59 candidates are standing in the Republic of Ireland's three constituencies.

In the local elections, the closing date for the nomination of candidates is 4 May.

On polling day, voters will also be asked whether they support easing restrictions on obtaining a divorce and removing the minimum waiting period from the Constitution.

In addition, voters in Limerick, Cork and Waterford will participate in a plebiscite to establish if they want directly elected mayors to take over decision-making and administrative functions currently conducted by the chief executives of their local authorities.

Read more:
What does the European Parliament do?
There are 949 councillors in Ireland so what do they do?