A visitor to the city will be leaving with a sour taste in his mouth after an “unfair clamping system” has forced him to pay more for one night of parking than for four nights of accommodation in the hotel he is staying in.
John O’ Neill of Naas, Kildare was left with a €200 fine for parking overnight in a lane way at the back of Jury’s Inn Hotel, Lower Mallow Street. His hotel bill in Jurys Inn was just €176 for four nights.
“I parked my car here as the parking garage was closed after 6pm. I went to the pub to meet a friend and could not move the car after I had a couple of drinks. I accept I parked in the wrong place but I was not causing congestion in any way and was not able to obtain a weekly parking ticket in the nearby Q-Park garage as the office was unattended when I visited it,” he explained.
He said he did not see any other alternative place to park and claimed other cars were parked in the same place for a considerable amount of time and nothing has happened to those cars.
Independently owned PJR services is the company that is responsible for clamping on the street. The company is contracted by businesses in the area. Owner Paddy Ryan said: “A warning sticker was placed on the car to let the occupant know that they were not permitted to park in that space.
“There is also plenty of signposts in place to warn people not to park there for over 30 minutes. The sticker warns the occupant that they have 30 minutes to move their vehicle or they will be clamped and fined €100.
“If the vehicle is still there after 12 at night the vehicle has technically been there for more than one day and that is why a further €100 fine was imposed.”
Mr O’ Neill is angry at the fine and said it was unfair on him and other customers: “This cannot be good for business in this area. People will not come back here if they are fined so severely so it seems counterproductive for businesses.”
Cllr Eddie Wade expressed his disappointment at Mr O’Neill’s plight: “I thought the parking situation there was sorted out a couple of years ago but that’s obviously not the case.
“If we’re trying to welcome people into the city we shouldn’t be putting up obstacles like this. I think the fine is far too high a price to pay regardless of whether Mr O’ Neill was parked correctly or not”.
Jury’s Hotel said the clamping company is not affiliated with them and did not wish to make any comment on the matter.