Motorist wanted to ‘set fire’ to his clamped car

MEET Aaron Cronin — possibly the most clamped man in Ireland.

The unlucky motorist forked out €195 to get his car out of the Cork City Vehicle Pound last Friday night.

But he woke up on Saturday morning to find his car, which was parked outside his city centre home, clamped again for the second time in four weeks.

It was towed back to the pound on Saturday night. It was still there last night.

Aaron said he just doesn’t have the cash to get it back out again.

And the cost — at €35 for every extra day it’s in the pound — is rising by the day.

The 32-year-old, who has forked out hundreds of euro in parking, clamping and towing fines over the last 12 months for parking near his home, said this latest towing incident was the last straw.

“I wanted to go over to City Hall and set fire to my car outside on the road to highlight the issue,” a furious Aaron said.

“If they want my car that badly, they can have it.

“I feel like I’m being criminalised for living in the city.”

Aaron used to have a residents’ parking permit which allowed him park in the city.

But after several parking fines — issued because he couldn’t find space outside his house and was forced to park in areas not covered by his permit — he decided not to renew it this year.

“There just didn’t seem to be any consistency in their policy,” he said.

Some of his parking and clamping fines were justified, he admitted.

But he said that, as a city centre resident and car owner, he was finding it increasingly difficult to find a parking space.

“I feel like moving out of the city at this stage,” he said.

“I go to bed every night wondering whether or not my car will be there in the morning.

“They should have dedicated parking spaces for residents.”

A council spokesman denied that clampers set out to target motorists.

“If people park illegally and if their vehicles are causing obstruction, they will be clamped,” he said.

Recent hikes in parking fines, from €19 to €40 for a standard fine, €25 to €40 for parking in a clear way, and a new €60 fine for parking within yellow junction boxes, are having the desired effect, he said.

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