Will Our Proposed Cycle Lanes Draw €40 Parking Fines on Desmonds GAA Supporters

Scart cousins: Patrick O’Connor (left) pictured with his cousins, Nuala and Fred O’Connor from Scartaglin at a Sunday morning start of the 2015 St. Kieran’s GAA Club annual Cycle Tour outside Desmonds GAA Club grounds with typical big-event day, no bother style parking in operation on both sides of the road. ©Photograph: John Reidy 24-5-2015

At midnight on Tuesday, November 12th 2019, new laws protecting cyclists came into effect.

The new legislation, which built upon existing laws governing cyclists and cycling in Ireland, made it an offence to dangerously overtake a pedal cyclist.

And it also provided for an increased fixed charge penalty of €120 and three penalty points for offenders. 

The launch of the new legislation heard that nine cyclists had already been killed on Irish roads and streets so far that year.

Rethink for Motorists

While cyclists welcomed the new government laws and guidelines, they posed a serious rethink for motorists on how they viewed cyclists on ‘their’ patch.

An Garda Síochána, the then Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority, and the Office of the Attorney General worked closely together to develop a robust legal mechanism to target drivers who put cyclists at risk on the roads of the country.

This robustness of attitude included fixed fines of €40 for parking on a cycle lane and a fixed €60 if the fine wasn’t paid within 28 days.

Serious Question for GAA Suporters

The existence of a fine for parking on cycle lanes which has been enshrined in law in Ireland now poses a serious question for GAA supporters in Castleisland and those visiting Limerick Road for home games.

Locals will know full well that Limerick Road is one of the most accommodating in the area for car parking during home games involving the Desmonds club’s many teams.

It’s a common sight to see cars parked, bumper to bumper on both sides of the road from Dooneen down to and within the entrance to St. John’s Park.

Parking Gift of the Bypass

And the opening of the bypass in 2010 provided another blessing on the club in that the heavy through traffic was all going off about its diverted business on the new road from Dooneen to Sandville and vice versa.

Will the proposals to lay down cycle lanes on Limerick Road now mean that the lifeblood parking on busy days will be denied to the club?

It’s all fine to say that people will understand. However, it will take only one complaint from an insistent cyclist, or, God forbid, an accident investigation to turn the tables from what is now an ideal parking facility to a lovely idea but a hardly used cycle lane.

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