Gardaí nationwide issue just 15 fines per day to drivers for parking on footpaths or grass verges, according to figures released to Green Party Justice spokesperson Patrick Costello TD. Despite annual pledges on Make Way Day by senior Gardaí to protect footpath users, particularly people with disabilities, the number of footpath parking fines issued by Gardaí has not increased since 2018.
Patrick Costello, Green Party TD for Dublin South Central, said, “rogue parking and blocking footpaths and cycle lanes poses a real danger, and all the more so for those with mobility issues. How can someone in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy get about when we ignore cars blocking footpaths? Is it fair to expect someone with a visual impairment to step out into the road to get around inconsiderate parking? I am seeking hearings at the justice committee in relation to this issue, we need to do more.”
Green Party councillor for Glencullen-Sandyford, Oisín O’Connor said “Lack of enforcement of footpath parking seems to be partly a cultural issue within An Garda Síochána and partly a choice of senior management. It’s my experience that Gardaí prefer to issue warnings or move-along requests than actually issuing fines to law-breaking parkers. We only have to check the footpaths near our homes and in our cities, towns and villages to know that this strategy is not working. Whether it’s the “just a minute” parking on footpaths or cars permanently stored on pavements in residential areas, the lack of enforcement affects accessibility for many people. On top of lack of enforcement, there appears to be a problem with all-day illegal parking near Garda stations. Dundrum has received a lot of social media attention in recent months with locals highlighting the frequency with which cars are parked on footpaths outside the Garda station. People in positions of power should set a good example.”
Councillor O’Connor added “Councils also have a role in parking enforcement. For example, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s wardens issued an average of 9 fines per day to drivers for parking on footpaths, compared to 15 per day by An Garda Síochána nationally. While more impressive than the level of Garda enforcement, I am working with council officials to increase enforcement further. Like all councils, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown spend significant sums of money on footpath repairs every year.”