GAA fans attending Cork stadium Páirc Uí Rinn have been urged to park responsibly after residents complained of “feeling under siege”.
Located in a heavy residential area, the stadium is hosting big games since the closure of Páirc Uí Chaoimh for a €70m revamp.
Some matchgoers, however, are parking three abreast on roadways, while others left cars across entrances to family homes. The problems were highlighted at a meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee.
Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon said some motorists’ behaviour had been “appalling,” especially on February 14 when nearly 9,000 people attended the Cork-Kilkenny senior hurling clash.
Gardaí used social media following that match to highlight concerns.
They issued 45 tickets to matchgoers who had illegally parked around the stadium and towed away three cars causing serious obstruction.
Gardaí also posted a picture of three cars parked abreast at the top of Temple Hill.
Superintendent Barry McPolin said gardaí were working very closely with the GAA in an effort to improve the situation.
“We are hitting the area and we are targeting errant motorists. The traffic corps is also working with us so we are hoping there will be an improvement,” Supt McPolin said.
Mr Shannon suggested it may be time for the GAA to consider operating buses to Páirc Uí Rinn from the Black Ash park and ride in an effort to alleviate the problem.
Chief Supt Michael Finn bemoaned the fact gardaí did not physically issue parking tickets anymore, but keyed the offence into a computer and a fine was posted to the offending motorist at a later date.
“Putting a ticket on somebody’s car acted as a deterrent to other motorists who passed by and were thinking of parking illegally,” Chief Supt Finn said.
Cork County Board spokesman Edmund Forrest said the GAA offers advice on responsible parking on its website and also on match- day programmes.
“We have continuous liaison with gardaí at all events and, afterwards, review the matter. We want to remind people attending matches on grounds in a suburban area, they should be respectful to locals,” Mr Forrest said.
He said the GAA had positioned stewards dressed in high-visibility jackets on some estates close to Páirc Uí Rinn to minimise the impact on residents.
However, he accepted there are some housing estates located further away from the ground which seemed to suffer most.
“We are conscious we want to be good neighbours. If people parked illegally in Grand Parade or Patrick’s Street they’d expect to get a ticket and the same should apply here,” Mr Forrest said.
The county board has also decided to play the majority of its senior championship games away from home while work at Páirc Uí Chaoimh continues which, he added, will probably come as a relief to people living around Páirc Uí Rinn.
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