A crystal ball was not needed by councillors who foretold parking chaos will be caused by groups, including fortune tellers, parking their camper vans in Lisdoonvarna in August and September.
Parking problemswere raised at this week’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District in Kilkee at which councillors Bill Slattery and Richard Nagle outlined their concerns.
“You have traders and you have fortune tellers who take up their positions in the square, along the bog road and remain there for the whole month of September, taking up prime parking spaces,” said Mr Nagle.
A number of fortune tellers were contacted for an opinion on the suggestion that they park up for weeks on end in Lisdoonvarna.
However just one, on the condition of anonymity, was prepared to comment. “I predict that there will be no issue this year if we are provided with somewhere to park,” the fortune teller warned.
“However, I also predict bad tidings for anyone who makes us park too far away from the town square.”
Mr Nagle, who is on the board of Lisdoonvarna Fáilte, said the parking issue is in the cards every year.
The camper van problem was solved to a degree last season because Lisdoonvarna Fáilte provided camper van parking at The Pavilion,” he said.
“While it has solved one problem, other problems remain. The new committee is willing to take the camper vans off the street and Marcus White in the Hydro said that he would allow 10 or 12 camper vans to park at The Thomond, which is closed down. That would take all of the camper vans away from the main street in Lisdoonvarna and stop what’s going on there.”
However, Mr Nagle warned that negotiations could prove tense. “I’m told that some of those people have been quite aggressive towards people who have asked them to move,” he said. “The opinion of the business people is that they are having a very negative impact on the image of the town and on commercial activity.”
Mr Slattery said: “The residents in St Brendan’s Road contacted me two years ago to come up to Lisdoonvarna and see the way the camper vans were being parked up for the summer, depriving the business people of the area of business. They were parking their camper vans and their caravans in the square and were emptying the contents of their night toilets out into the gullies on the main street.
“Superintendent Seamus Nolan went to Lisdoonvarna where he met the residents and business people in 2013. He said that if double yellow lines were put down in the square and on St Brendan’s Road, that he would enforce the law.
“Council engineer Steve Lahiffe agreed that time to put the double lines down in the square and some double yellow lines down on St Brendan’s Road. Last year the camper vans came back again. They parked in the square. Superintendent Nolan got the caravans removed from the square in Lisdoonvarna but they came back again and parked there.”
Replying to suggestions that parking bylaws be introduced, meeting administrator John Corry foretold that parking fees would have to be introduced in that case.
“I am in present negotiation with the gardaí in order to try and provide a resolution to this problem which occurs, primarily at weekends, for a couple of weeks each year,” he said.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved