NEWS

Donegal businessman hits out at what he described as an “unprecedented blitz on motorists”

Matt Britton

Reporter:

Matt Britton

Donegal businessman hits out at what he described as an “unprecedented blitz on motorists”

Eugene Gallen on Quay St in Donegal town.

A Donegal town businessman has hit out at what he described as an “unprecedented blitz on motorists” using the town on Friday last on what was one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Eugene Gallen a member of the Donegal Town Business Group told the Democrat, “As a town we do our best to prevent leakage of revenue to the larger urban centres and cross-border towns offering great value in a hassle-free environment.
“Last Friday three traffic wardens arrived into the town and literally ticketed every car that in any way infringed the rules without any discretion. The car parks were totally full but their main targets seemed to be street-side.
“We had carols on the Diamond with all the local schools participating and parents were deprived of the opportunity of joining their children on what should have been a joyful occasion.
“I can reliably state that on the same evening there were only two wardens on duty in Letterkenny a much larger centre - it was quite obvious that Donegal Town was regarded as easy pickings.”
Dolan added, “This was in sharp contrast to the Gardai who were on duty on the Diamond who helped keep the traffic flowing and used their discretion. They couldn’t have done a better job.
“I am not advocating illegal parking but I do feel that common sense should have prevailed. It is quite obvious to me and indeed the vast majority of traders in the town that this was just a move designed to fill the coffers.
“Regrettably it did nothing to enhance what should have been a very very happy experience in Donegal Town.”
Gallen also slated members of the council who had voted to increase the rates in the county on businesses that are already hard pressed. “This 5 per cent increase is the biggest single increase in this county in history and the first increase since 2010.
“This will have a major effect on many businesses in the south and west of this county. I know of one hotel in this town who are looking at an increase in the region of €5,000.
“This increase is not confined to the tourism sector but to the commercial sector in general. “Many other industries like the fishing industry in Killybegs and further west who will also be looking at sizeable increases in industries that are highly seasonal.