herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Gardai asked clampers to target cars in city suburb

GARDAI have been blamed for a spate of clamping which 'nearly caused a riot'.

Dublin City Council insisted it played no part in the Rathgar incident which saw a "vast" amount of cars targeted.

And the local authority will now ask gardai to explain the reason for the intervention.

City official Michael O'Neill revealed gardai made a direct request to Dublin Street Parking Services (DSPS) to carry out the enforcement action.



duties

"My understanding was that the guards requested directly to the clampers," Mr O'Neill told councillors at the South East Area committee meeting.

He said the officers did not approach the council's traffic section but went to DSPS.

"They asked the clampers to go and clamp cars on the Saturday there," he added.

Mr O'Neill admitted the parking officers seemed to perform their duties "with some enthusiasm".

He said, as far as the council is concerned, a village outside of the city centre is not a priority..

"Our policy on it would have been that places like Rathgar on a Saturday and any small town outside Dublin city wouldn't be a high priority ... for us.

"We will ask the gardai why that happened," he said.

Fianna Fail councillor Jim O'Callaghan said a "major problem" occurred as a result of the clamping.

He said a vast amount of cars were hit earlier this month, causing "huge irritation" and nearly leading to a "riot".

Mr O'Callaghan wants to see a change in the parking regulations allowing drivers to pull into bus lanes on Saturdays, saying there is a shortage of space for cars in places like Rathgar and Rathmines.

Concerns have frequently been expressed by retailers operating in villages like Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar that overzealous enforcement is driving shoppers away.

But the council rejected a free parking scheme in Ranelagh for shoppers last year.

comurphy@herald.ie

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