Sinn Féin councillor Cathy Rafferty has lambasted traffic wardens who issued up to 20 tickets to motorists on St Patrick’s Day in Armagh City.
Councillor Rafferty said: “This is a disgraceful situation and I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the motorists affected have their fees waived.
“Numerous people contacted me on St Patrick’s Day to say they had received fixed penalty notices, I was incredulous to say the least, particularly since tickets were issued to parishioners attending 10 o clock Mass in St Malachy’s Church.
“It appears that most of the tickets were issued to those parked in the Department of Regional Development owned car park at the rear of the shopping centre.
“I immediately contacted council officials on hearing about these incidents and I have been informed that the responsibility rests with DRD Roads Service Parking Enforcement headquarters in Belfast. I have made contact and am awaiting a response to my query.
“It is disgraceful that on Ireland’s national holiday in Armagh, the City of St Patrick, traffic wardens are using a community festival as an opportunity to target unsuspecting motorists. I have also sought clarification regarding parking arrangements over 12th of July holidays.”
SDLP Cusher Councillor Sharon Haughey-Grimley has also expressed her concern about the strict parking conditions in Armagh over St Patrick’s weekend.
Cllr Haughey-Grimley said: “A number of people have been in touch with me after receiving parking tickets over St Patrick’s weekend. Some tickets were even given out on St Patrick’s Day itself to mass-goers, MacRory Cup supporters and people viewing the parade.
“One constituent contacted me after waiting for a parking space in Dobbin Street Car Park on Saturday, which was completely full. After a car pulled out, she parked in the space, paid for two hours parking and went shopping. When she came back she had a parking ticket because the space was actually reserved for electric cars only.
“The lady didn’t realise the space was off limits for normal cars and was shocked to be hit with a £90 parking ticket.”
The former Lord Mayor of Armagh said people were rightly very angry by the strict parking penalties on one of the biggest weekends of the year.
She added: “Thousands of people visited Armagh City over the weekend and unfortunately some have come away dismayed by these harsh penalties.
“The parking attendants should not have been out on the streets in Armagh on Ireland’s day of celebration.
“I have highlighted these concerns to DOE Roads Service and have recommended that in future they take into account any major events that are taking place and in such incidences show some leniency.”
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