Garda cars parked 'illegally' at courts escape clampers
DUBLIN city councillors are taking gardai to task over "illegal" parking beside the Courts of Criminal Justice.
The local representatives have written to Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy concerning parking by unmarked squad cars at the location.
They say the situation is causing "havoc" for residents who have nowhere to put their own vehicles on some days.
Councillors said on one day last week garda vehicles in the Montpellier Hill/Infirmary Road area escaped being clamped while eight 'civilian' cars did not.
Independent councillor Christy Burke said the council's central area committee agreed to write the letter.
"It brings to the attention of the commissioner the amount of garda cars illegally parked around the court on Infirmary Road and Montpellier," Mr Burke told the Herald.
"We have also asked if unmarked garda vehicles are exempt from clamping and if so why," he added. Mr Burke said "going to court to give evidence is not an emergency".
Councillors are so annoyed about the situation because they had predicted it would become a problem.
"We said this a year before the court opened and we were told there would be parking facilities. In some cases, they (the garda cars) were parked across the gates into people's homes," he said.
A spokesman for the gardai said they would "not be in a position to respond to a political issue". The €140m courts complex, which opened last November, is the largest State building to be constructed since the Four Courts in 1796.
It is on Parkgate Street near the Phoenix Park. The building houses the Court of Criminal Appeal, the Special Criminal Court, the Central Criminal Court as well as Circuit and District Criminal Courts. It was designed by Dublin architects Henry J Lyons.
The decision to write to Commissioner Murphy was taken at a meeting of the Central Area committee this week.
Mr Burke said gardai could park at Bridewell Garda Station and take the Luas down to the courts.
He added that officers could also use the underground car park at the mammoth court building.
A response from the commissioner is expected to be presented at the next meeting of the Central Area committee.