Parking fines spark outrage in Galway
By John Fallon
GAA fans in Galway are up in arms after Gardaí dished out scores of parking tickets on Sunday to supporters attending the senior hurling final at Pearse Stadium in Salthill.
The clampdown by the Gardaí is the latest in a blitz which saw over 50 motorists receive fines for illegally parking their cars while attending the Galway senior football final two weeks ago.
The 34,000 capacity stadium does not have any car park and there have been ongoing disputes with local residents in the Salthill area since the ground was redeveloped seven years ago.
Galway County Board has made arrangements with a couple of schools in the areas to provide car parks but most of the supporters park on roadsides or in the many housing estates around the ground.
Gardaí warned last week that they would strictly enforce the law around parking for Sunday’s hurling final between Loughrea and Clarinbridge, which attracted a crowd of around 10,000.
The match ended in a draw and the replay is scheduled for Sunday week at Pearse Stadium again but many fans who contacted local radio stations and website message boards vowed never to go to the stadium again after receiving a parking fine on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Galway County Board said that car parking was available at St Enda’s College near the ground and that the Gardaí had issued warnings during the week that parking laws would be strictly enforced.
“We also announced over the public address for the owners of particular cars which were causing an obstruction to move them,” he added.
But irate supporters claim that most of the ticketed cars were not blocking driveways or causing an obstruction.
“I have parked in the same place for 20 years. I parked safely, was not obstructing anyone and came back to my car to find a ticket on it. I won’t be going back there again,” said one angry fan.
A Garda spokesperson said that a warning was issued prior to the match that parking laws would be strictly enforced.
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