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OPW and RTE at loggerheads over parking

A SPAT is brewing between the OPW and RTE after the latter parked a satellite van in the Phoenix Park during the high-profile Eamonn Lillis trial.

A spokesperson for the OPW claimed they asked RTE to move the van from a cordoned-off parking space.

However, RTE has insisted it had special permission from the OPW to park there.

RTE crews were able to avail of cordoned-off parking spaces in the park while broadcasting from the Lillis trial in the new Courts of Criminal Justice in nearby Parkgate Street.

The Office of Public Works (OPW), who control the park, say there were no special privileges afforded to the station, but RTE has insisted it had special permission to avail of the prize parking spot beside the Conyngham Road gate.

The State broadcaster appeared able to avail of the unique free parking spot nearest the court during the high-profile trial.

The area had traffic cones and tape that prevented other park users taking advantage of the parking.

And park rangers who strictly patrol the roads were stationed at the gates in full knowledge that RTE's filming crew and satellite van were parked behind the cordon on a daily basis.

When the OPW were asked what special arrangements existed between them and RTE concerning the parking spot, a spokesperson said that parking was on a first-come first-served basis.

Queried

"No special permission was given to RTE, and the van has been asked to move from behind the cordon," said the OPW spokesperson once the Herald had queried the situation.

But when RTE were asked what the situation was, it said that Phoenix Park authorities had allowed them to use the spot.

"We were given a space for safety reasons because there is a lot of equipment and cabling associated with the crews," said the RTE spokesperson.

"It is not a permanent arrangement and was done because we have no assigned spaces at the courts yet," they added.

Parking has become a major issue with the newly opened court building, with everyone from gardai, the prison service, journalists and witnesses having to try to find somewhere to put their vehicles.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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