A senior garda has said gardaí don't deliberately target sports fans for parking tickets after a number of Finn Harps supporters appeared in court over fines issued for parking on footpaths close to the cub’s ground during a match last year.
Inspector Michael Harrison made the comments at Letterkenny District Court after four fans were fined €80 for parking offences relating to March 14th last year, when Finn Harps were playing Shamrock Rovers at Finn Park in Ballybofey.
The solicitor of one defendant said his client was “a big Finn Harps” fan who had parked on a footpath at Steeple View and received a ticket, but other vehicles had not. He said it was a “turkey shoot”.
But Inspector Harrison, who told the court he was a season ticket holder at Finn Park himself, said the claim that gardaí had been taking part in a “turkey shoot” against the football fans was “nonsense”.
“There were a lot of tickets issued,” he said.
“Residents complained that they could not get past on footpaths. We don’t go on turkey shoots, we don’t go to county finals giving out tickets or anything like that. We respond to complaints,” he added.
Sgt Charlene Anderson said two gardaí issued 44 tickets in the area on the date after residents in Steeple Steeple View had complained.
A second defendant also charged with parking on a footway at Steeple View, was asked by Judge Paul Kelly if he was a “big Finn Harps supporter” too. “It’s an expensive occupation,” the judge said.