Meath Live has learned that a number of local councillors and two TD’s have interceded with Meath county council, since February last in a bid to get parking tickets rescinded for constituents.
One of those involved does not even represent a Meath constituency.
And the four involved in the seven cases we were made aware of in response to a Freedom Of Information request,TD’s Peadar Toibin (Meath West), and Niamh Smyth (Cavan/Monaghan) as well as councillors Sean Drew (FF) and Noel French FG) had vary degrees of success in their efforts.
Toibin brought to mind the old Meatloaf hit, ‘Two out of three ain’t bad’ as a couple of his three appeals worked out.
The one that failed involved a man who parked in a disabled space on Navan’s Watergate Street on September 15th to allow his elderly mother access toilet facilities in a nearby cafe.
Toibin’ s assertion that the man admitted he had no valid disabled parking permit but needed to utilise the space as his mother could not walk a great distance and this was as close as he could get to a toilet facility met with no success.
However two other cases, one where a woman left her grandson in the car momentarily, and he duly removed her invalidity permit from the window and another where a motorist produced photographic evidence that clearly indicated a ticket machine was not working when it actually was saw the fines removed.
While not commenting on those particular issues Toibin told us, ‘When parking was initially privatised there was a problem for my own family as where we had the garage on Bridge Street had a yellow box there which prohibited family members from parking when visiting our eldelery parents.
‘Thankfully, although it took a year the council then granted us residents parking permits to use there.’
Sean Drew recalled the appeal he made for one very good reason, he rarely does it!
He said, ‘ Usually if a constituent approaches me over a parking ticket I tend not to get involved as in a lot of cases the traffic warden is correct so it is only fair the motorist pays up.
‘However the case you refer to is vivid in my mind as I felt it was ridiculously harsh on the man involved.
‘An elderly couple here in Kells were cocooning during the first lockdown and this gentleman was performing an act of charity by delivering firewood, in the form of logs, to them.
‘As he would have had to carry numerous loads in and out of the house he parked on the footpath, which admittedly was wrong, however it was clear what he was actually doing and given the circumstances I felt it was only right I forwarded an appeal, if that is what you want to call it, on his behalf.
‘It’s a case where the warden displayed no common sense at all and punished someone for the kind of act of kindness we as a community should be proud off, I was actually surprised the appeal was turned down.’
Noel French told Meath Live, ‘ I recall the incident you mention, a man who is very heavily involved in promoting tourism in Trim was delivering stuff into the tourist office and parked in a yellow box outside it.
‘Officially he was in the wrong but if the warden had adopted a sensible approach, as it was clear items were being delivered, it could have been avoided.
‘People will come to me with what they feel may be a legitimate cause of appeal but quite often what they tell me may not tally with what actually happened so I’d adopt a cautious approach,
‘I seem to recall just one occasion where I was successful and that was where a guy could actually produce a ticket that had fallen off the dash on the day.’
Cavan/Monaghan, Fianna Fail, deputy Niamh Smith who helpfully included a photo of herself on her email to the council was unsuccessful in her efforts to get a woman from Kingscourt off for an offence at Navan’s Kennedy place last April even though she suggested the cost of the ticket could be offset against the woman’s tax!