Inland Waterways Ireland has defended its decision to clamp 21 cars on Dublin's South Dock Road on Monday.
Those who parked and were clamped on the laneway were said to have been furious to discover they had been immobilised by a private clamping company. The laneway is owned by Waterways Ireland, which told RTé Motors that the cars were parked in such a way as to block access and egress from an operational yard.
A spokeswoman for Waterways Ireland, which manages lakes, rivers, and canals throughout the country, said the cars were causing an obstruction for the yard and a private residence at the end of the laneway.
"I had already warned people parking of the issues arising, such as access to the yard and also access to the emergency services." She added that while there had been 21 cars clamped on Monday, that figure had reached 40 cars on some days.
Local resident Terry Thorpe told the Irish Times: "It was unbelievable. There are signs on the wall that say ‘no parking’. They [the motorists] were warned before, but they didn’t pay any attention to it," he said.
"The problem is they were parking on the road and on the bend so Waterways Ireland couldn’t get in and out so they employed a private clamping firm to look after it for them," he said.
"If there was an emergency, how could a fire engine or an ambulance get by while there are cars parked there?"
Waterways Ireland also told the Irish Times that despite "repeated warnings and leafleting in relation to no parking on the laneway, on occasion over 40 cars have parked illegally blocking emergency and operational access," Waterways Ireland said.
"Waterways Ireland has received complaints including from the apartment management company. Last week a contractor, operating on behalf of Waterways Ireland put up signs warning that ‘no parking’ would be enforced and today enforcement began."