Meet’ The Forester’s clamper!’

Yesterday he said he was ‘helpless’ as a visibly distraught woman driver was held up for over two hours yesterday after a clamper claimed his company were unable to confirm she had paid the €85 fee to remove a clamp.

Despite the visibly upset woman repeatedly showing him a message on her phone that said, ‘ Your payment was successful’ the clamp stayed on as bosses at the parking company Apcoa initially claimed they hadn’t received the payment.

And the clamper then insisted he could not get an answer to his calls asking Apcoa if it was okay to release the car.

It was only when Meath Live, there to cover a protest against the proposed closure of Navan hospital’s A&E unit turned up that the clamper relented.

The fee was paid at 12.42 and the car was not released until just before quarter to three.

The incident happened in the Foresters car park a notorious clamping black spot in Navan, County Meath early yesterday afternoon.

The woman, who would only give her first name, Shirley, was apparently ten minutes late back to her vehicle, told us, ‘Part of the problem was that when I tried to put a two-euro coin in to buy a ticket the machine would not accept it so I paid €1.20 which meant I had a little less parking time available.

‘But even after I accepted I was over the time and paid up the bloke wouldn’t budge, he insisted his bosses had told him the payment hadn’t come through and when I showed him the message on my phone he did, in fairness, try ringing them back but nobody answered.’

He may have had a point as when we attempted to contact Apcoa we gave up when there was no answer after a twenty-minute wait.

When Meath Live pointed out that the woman’s bank had confirmed the payment had been taken the clamper, who would not give his name, was adamant that Apcoa had not received the payment and that he could do nothing until they cleared it first.

He said, ‘Why you hassling me man I am only doing my job, I don’t make the rules my bosses make the rules.’

When we pointed out that while Apcoa may make the rules he didn’t have to enforce them and again showed him the message saying payment had been made he took the clamp off.

Another angry motorist was even more unfortunate as he thought he had done the right thing but found out he hadn’t.

When this man went to buy a ticket the machine in the Foresters wasn’t working so he walked down the street and bought a ticket from a machine there.

The problem was he didn’t realise the Foresters is a privately run car park whereas the ticket machine he bought from was for a different car park nearby run by Meath County Council and therefore invalid for where he was actually parked.