Protest supports traffic warden who issued tickets ‘under duress’

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

A protest took place this week in support of a Carrick-on-Suir traffic warden facing possible disciplinary action over writing the words “under duress” on parking tickets she was required by Town Council managment to issue to two Irish Blood Transfusion Board vehicles parked in the town centre.

Fifteen people protested outside Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall on Monday morning to highlight their anger at Town Council managment’s decision to issue the parking tickets to IBTS vehicles while a blood donations clinic was taking place in The Carraig Hotel last month and the subsequent decision to request traffic warden Marie Dunne to attend a disciplinary interview.

The group handed in a letter to the Town Hall for the attention of Town Clerk Michael O’Brien requesting that he issue a public apology for the ticketing of the IBTS vans, which they said caused “upset and anger to most residents of the town” and resulted in “negative media” coverage of Carrick-on-Suir.

This was the second protest by the group in the space of a week. The first took place on Monday, October 15 to coincide with the disciplinary interview Ms Dunne was requested to attend. The disciplinary interview was postponed that day and has still to take place.

Aidan O’Doherty, one of the protest organisers, said Carrick-on-Suir was struggling in every way and the fact that even the Blood Transfusion Service was issued with a ticket was certainly not going to encourage people to come to the town.

Elizabeth Butler from Carrickbeg, who handed in the protesters letter to the Town Hall, said along with an apology they wanted Town Council management to drop its threat of disciplinary action against the traffic warden. Ms Dunne had the interests of the town at heart, she said.

Ms Butler complained that the controversy attracted a lot of negative media attention on Carrick-on-Suir. People in the town had received phone calls from the other side of the world about the story, she pointed out.

She pointed out that the IBTS had been coming to Carrick-on-Suir for 25 years without any requirement to pay parking fees in the town and what had happened was very disappointing.

The protest took place just days after Ann Donovan, IBTS Donor Recruitment & Support Service Manager for the Southern Region criticised the Town Council’s decision to issue the fines during an interview on Tipp FM and said the IBTS contacted the Town Council on the day the fines were issued to inform it that a blood donations clinic was taking place in the town.

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