There were vigorous calls for the abolition of paid parking in Longford during a meeting where it was suggested the present system is loss making.
Several councillors called for a review into the matter following claims made by Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mae Sexton.
She told her fellow colleagues Longford’s current paid parking set-up was doing little to bolster the balance sheets within Longford’s Municipal District.
And in a further revelation she said Longford’s two other Municipal areas were being made to pay for those losses.
“We are not making money in the Town Council,” she said, while reiterating her long held opposition to paid parking. “It’s losing money so we should get rid of it. The other Municipal Districts are actually picking up the loss.”
Cllr Martin Mulleady supported Cllr Sexton and questioned why local representatives hadn’t been given the opportunity to have any input into its inception.
Appearing more enraged with each passing second, the Fianna Fáil politician said certain elements of the Council were living in “cuckoo land” over its operation.
“If the paid parking isn’t working, get rid of it,” he stormed.
“I am very disappointed we (councillors) had no say over it.
“It was totally wrong because it’s the people coming in from outside that are paying for it.”
Fine Gael Councillors Micheál Carrigy and Gerald Farrell joined the growing clamour for paid parking to be revoked.
Cllr Mick Cahill went further, describing the present arrangement as little more than “a shambles”.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mark Casey meanwhile, also called for the council to discuss the matter fully and requested a three year forecast on the monies generated by paid parking.
“For the last 12 months it (paid parking) has been booted around time and time again,” he said. “It keeps chopping and changing and it’s very unfair that one area would get to dictate paid parking in the county.
“At the end of the day it is the people from Ballymahon, Lanesboro, Granard who come into Longford town to do their shopping.
“You can put all the smoke screens up but people are afraid of getting parking tickets and that’s a fact, full stop.”