“Unscruplous” private clampers need to be stopped - O’Rourke

The municipal district needs to address private clampers in the town who impose unreasonable fines on motorists in a very unforgiving and inconsiderate manner and who have the potential to damage this town’s reputation as a place to visit and do business - that’s according to a motion made by councillor Aengus O’Rourke.

“I’ve no issue with private car parks, but it’s the sinister approach from the clampers I disagree with,” he said.

Speaking at Monday’s Athlone Municipal District meeting the Fianna Fáil councillor said that some clampers are charging “extortionate release fees” and that some are “hiding in cars, jumping out and clamping”.

“It’s fair to say they’re unscrupulous and opportunistic, it’s profiteering. We need to regulate, have a fixed release with a maximum fine,” he suggested.

Cllr John Dolan added, “I don’t think anyone can argue if you’re in the wrong you pay the fine. But perhaps we can look at bylaws to regulate private carparks.”

District manager Pat Keating said that as the carparks are on private property the council can’t bring in bylaws to regulate them. However a vehicle clamping Bill has been drafted by Government to control such operations and has been published but has not yet become law.

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