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Thursday 8 December 2016

Dublin church introduces new 'park and pray' scheme for busy car-park

Published 13/09/2016 | 14:27

Our Lady Queen of Peace on Merrion Road (Photo: Google Maps)
Our Lady Queen of Peace on Merrion Road (Photo: Google Maps)

A parish priest has described his church's 'Park & Pray' scheme as a positive for the local area.

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Fr Fergus O’Connor, from Our Lady Queen of Peace on Merrion Road in Dublin, said the church brought in a management company to charge for parking in the carpark.

They decided to introduce the new move when the car park began filling up with people who weren’t going to church.

Now, anyone can use the carpark for up to 45 minutes, but the 'honour system' means you have to pay for any time longer.

The parish priest’s predecessor said they previously had an incident where a funeral could not use the car park because it was full.

Fr Fergus O’Connor told Independent.ie; “I wanted to make it available to people who couldn’t pay and I didn’t want people to have to take a chance not paying and feel anxious.”

The scheme gives people 45 minutes of free parking to allow them to “say a prayer, light a candle or go to mass.”

If the management company catches someone past 45 minutes who are not paying they can be clamped.

“It’s an honour system, we don’t check if people are using the church or not – we wanted to make sure it was available to everyone so that you don’t have to pay to pray.”

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