Union fury as traffic warden gets verbal warning in blood donor vehicle ticket row

A traffic warden was issued with a verbal warning by Carrick-on-Suir Town Council management this week for writing the words “under duress” on parking tickets she was ordered to issue to two blood bank vehicles parked in the town centre while a blood donations clinic was taking place in a local hotel. SIPTU, the trade union representing Carrick-on-Suir traffic warden Marie Dunne, said it intended appealing the Council management’s decision to issue the verbal warning to Ms Dunne, who wrote the “under duress” comment to indicate her opposition to the decision to fine the Irish Blood Transfusion Service vehicles.

A traffic warden was issued with a verbal warning by Carrick-on-Suir Town Council management this week for writing the words “under duress” on parking tickets she was ordered to issue to two blood bank vehicles parked in the town centre while a blood donations clinic was taking place in a local hotel. SIPTU, the trade union representing Carrick-on-Suir traffic warden Marie Dunne, said it intended appealing the Council management’s decision to issue the verbal warning to Ms Dunne, who wrote the “under duress” comment to indicate her opposition to the decision to fine the Irish Blood Transfusion Service vehicles.

SIPTU official Michael Kiely said the union was extremely disappointed with the Council’s action and if their appeal was not upheld he indicated the union would take a case to the Rights Commissioner Service.

Mr Kiely said he didn’t wish to comment any further on the matter at this stage.

Ms Dunne, who has worked as a traffic warden with Carrick Town Council for nearly 20 years, received written notification of the verbal warning from Town Council management yesterday (Tuesday).

The verbal warning was the outcome of a disciplinary interview Ms Dunne attended at Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall last Thursday morning accompanied by her union representative Mr Kiely

She was informed the warning was for the “inappropriate comments” she wrote on the parking tickets issued to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service vehicles on September 19.

The ticketing of the two IBTS vehicles parked outside The Carraig Hotel on Carrick-on-Suir’s Main Street while a blood donations clinic was taking place in the hotel was widely criticised in the town at the time.

Carrick-on-Suir Business Association stepped in and reached an agreement with Town Council management to allow one IBTS vehicle park for free on Main Street on blood clinic days with COSBA footing the parking bill for other IBTS vehicles used for transporting staff.

And following a heated debate Carrick-on-Suir Town Council monthly meeting, Town Clerk Michael O’Brien agreed to write to the IBTS outlining that the Council will consider allocating free parking spaces to its vehicles that for “compelling logistical reasons” required to be parked on Main Street while a blood clinic was taking place.

But the controversy re-ignited again when it was revealed that Ms Dunne had been summonsed by Council management to attend a disciplinary interview.

A group of local people angry over the Council’s actions, both in issuing the fines and calling Ms Dunne to a disciplinary interview staged protests outside the Town Hall and handed in a letter for the attention of the Town Clerk requesting a public apology.

The Nationalist contacted Carrick-on-Suir Town Council yesterday (Tuesday) for comment but hadn’t received a response at the time of going to press.