Clampers get a taste of their own medicine

CLAMPERS were issued with a parking ticket in Galway after a member of the public tipped off the gardaí.

It is the latest setback for the clampers in the city, who were branded ‘mini-Hitlers’ by an angry parish priest last Christmas.

The clamping van was spotted by a member of the public on the corner of one-way street in Wood Quay last Tuesday afternoon. It was parked on a double yellow line and the gardaí were informed.

Control Plus, the company which runs the clamping service for Galway City Council, claimed the van had broken down.

But the gardaí said a sign should have been placed on the van and issued a parking ticket to Control Plus operations manager Marie Connolly.

“People are sick and tired with the clampers. There are traffic wardens who give parking fines of €25 but people are getting clamped with fines of €80. Why is Galway City Council allowing this to happen?” said one bystander.

Control Plus also runs clamping services in Cork and Dublin and made a profit of €538,000 last year.

It was unavailable for comment last night.

The Lord Mayor of Galway city, Terry O’Flaherty, said she had received many complaints about the clamping service.

“I had a letter recently from a woman in France who had been clamped on holidays here. She was appalled she had been given no warning.”

However, she pointed out that there was a need for a clamping system in the city. “I supported the introduction of this because there were one way streets which were doubled parked and there was no room for the emergency services.”

Ms O’Flaherty said the issue will be debated at next month’s council meeting, and Control Plus will be asked to show councillors digital photos of their activities.

Last week, a young driver in Cork successfully defied the clampers after his car was targeted outside the English Market in Grand Parade. Jamie Lennon, from Sunday’s Well, had been parked for one minute while he visited a shoe repair stop. After a 45-minute stand-off in front of a large crowd, he was allowed to drive away.

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