AN ambulance was unable to reach the Macroom home of a child following an emergency call - because parents attending a nearby school play had blocked the entrance with their parked cars.
The mother of the child was forced to bring the youngster out to meet the ambulance outside the Orchard estate as the emergency vehicle was unable to pass cars parked in and around the estate entrance, while parents attended a school play in the adjacent St Joseph's National School.
The incident came to light at this week's meeting of Macroom Town Council, where local representatives called for remedial action to the parking issue.
Cllr Martin Coughlan (Lab) raised the issue, and said that residents in the Orchard estate were "fed up" with people parking in their estate when going to the school or nearby church.
"Last week there was a play in the school and residents in the Orchard couldn't get into their own estate, the ambulance couldn't get up the hill. If the fire brigade were called we'd have the same situation," said Cllr Coughlan.
"I've seen it first hand myself during parent teacher meetings," he said, adding that it was a "sensitive issue."
"Surely people who own their houses don't deserve people parking on their drives and blocking the way into their homes? I know I'll be castigated for this but it's bloody well ridiculous.
"Parents are now racing up the hill to be there half an hour before school ends to get as close to the gate as possible," he said, adding that the last time parking issues in the area were address by the council, angry parents "abused" members of town council staff.
"I know I'll be talked about when this is reported in the press but they abused the town clerk and abused staff. As a body we were asked to put in double yellow lines, barriers and pedestrian crossings up there and they're being ignored," Cllr Coughlan concluded.
Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said that parking on double yellow lines was a matter for gardai, and suggested that the council ask that they monitor the area at peak times. He also suggested that the school and church be asked to look into building a car park in the area.
The council is to write to the school Board of Management and the local church to ask for their assistance in the matter.