Tuesday 17 July 2018

'It was for her pocket money' - Shop owner fined €150 for daughter's (11) bike wash poster

Astrid Fitzpatrick said she was 'stunned' upon receiving the hefty fine for a child-made poster

Erin Fitzpatrick and inset, her poster
Erin Fitzpatrick and inset, her poster

Kyle Ewald

The owner of Dublin bike shop said she was “stunned” upon receiving a €150 fine for a poster her young daughter had put on the side of the road advertising bike washes.

Astrid Fitzpatrick’s daughter Erin had been washing peoples’ bikes for ice-cream money last Saturday and placed a sign on the side of the road so cyclists in the area would see it.

The 11-year-old had written on “Bike Wash €3” on the back of an old Irish Cargo Bike Champions corriboard and attached it to a pole on the side of the road near her family’s business, The Dutch Bike Shop. 

On Wednesday morning, a fine arrived from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council at the bike shop with photos of the sign attached dated Sunday.

The Dutch Bike Shop received a €150 fine for the poster. Photo: Astrid Fitzpatrick.
The Dutch Bike Shop received a €150 fine for the poster. Photo: Astrid Fitzpatrick.

“I admit we should have taken the sign down over night, but things get hectic and it stayed up for an extra day, but it obviously wasn’t a professional sign, it was for kid’s pocket money,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

“It wasn’t for elections or referendums, it was just for Erin to have a bit of fun at the shop. Usually, the kids can get pretty bored if they are just hanging around the shop, but they get excited about making a bit of money themselves, so it’s just annoying that this had to come out of it.”

Ms Fitzpatrick said she received “very positive responses” from government officials she has contacted about the matter.

She said Transport Minister Shane Ross immediately responded when she voiced concerns over the “petty” fine and his team have drafted a letter to the litter warden department.

Astrid's daughters Erin (left) and Róisín (right) enjoy hosting bike washes when accompanying their mother to the shop. Photo: Astrid Fitzpatrick.
Astrid's daughters Erin (left) and Róisín (right) enjoy hosting bike washes when accompanying their mother to the shop. Photo: Astrid Fitzpatrick.

“It was all just for fun, and just seems a bit petty to fine someone over a child’s sign, but I’m hopeful it will be squashed,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

It is understood the fine will now be written off by the council.

Independent.ie has contacted the council for comment.

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