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Paralympic star’s car clamped on visit to hospital

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Paralympian Lorraine Gallagher clamped in St Vincent's Hospital

Paralympian Lorraine Gallagher clamped in St Vincent's Hospital

Paralympian Lorraine Gallagher clamped in St Vincent's Hospital

A FORMER paralympian who suffers from cerebral palsy had her car clamped in a hospital car park despite having a permit badge.

Lorraine Gallagher was parked in a disabled bay close to the main entrance of St Vincent’s hospital yesterday.

Her blue disability permit badge was fully visible on the windscreen.

She had travelled an hour and a half from Kilcoole and was left stranded for a further two and a half hours until her husband could reach her.

On finding her vehicle clamped when she returned to it at 11.30am, the patient contacted hospital reception.

However Ms Gallagher said the responsibility did not lie with the hospital but the clamping company Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS).

The mother of one is a former World Champion in wheel chair sprinting and competed for Ireland in the Paralympics up until 1996.

The Wicklow-native - who works within the education system - said she was also clamped while parked in a disabled spot two weeks previously in Dublin city centre.

Disability

“I’m just fed up now, its ridiculous. With my disability it’s not as if I can go anywhere after I have been clamped or get a bus,” she said.

“They have stooped to a new low, it’s disgraceful,” she continued.

According to the mother-of -one, the previous clamping company later admitted they were not allowed to clamp her car as she had a hand-control on her wheel visible as well as a blue badge displayed.

Tony O’Brien, a spokesperson for NCPS said Ms Gallagher was clamped for parking dangerously and was causing an obstruction.

“The lady was de-clamped free of charge by the NCPS operative,” he added.

Kenneth Fox of the Disabled Drivers of Ireland Association said he would have expected clampers to have a more sympathetic attitude towards disabled drivers, especially those parked on hospital grounds.

“These organisations have a responsibility to prioritise the genuine needs and concerns of disabled drivers over collecting money,” he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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