Saturday 25 January 2020

Customs seize car after six-hour stand-off

Anita Guidera

CUSTOMS officers descended in large numbers to seize a car from the home of a woman after a six-hour stand-off the previous day.

The car was registered to Northern Ireland despite the mother of two having an address in the Republic.

Margaret Davern had locked herself in her car in a car park in Buncrana, Co Donegal, for almost six hours on Tuesday to prevent her car from being seized.

But yesterday, up to 16 customs officers and eight gardai arrived at the woman's Buncrana home and seized the car from the driveway.

Local councillor Padraig MacLochlainn (SF) renewed his call for the abolition of Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and criticised the "heavy handed actions" of the customs officials.

"VRT is an immensely unpopular and unjust tax but surely there must be a way to collect this tax without engaging in this sort of heavy-handed approach," he said.

The stand off was streamed live on the internet.

Ryan Stuart, a friend of Ms Davern, said: "She was still shaken from the previous day. In the end up she had been issued with a warning so she was not expecting them to come back and take her car. She is absolutely distraught. She is physically shaken by it all."

A Facebook campaign for the abolition of VRT, which was launched in Donegal's Inishowen peninsula a month ago, had almost 10,000 supporters by yesterday.

A spokesman for Revenue and Customs would not comment on the incident.

Irish Independent

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