Saturday 24 March 2018

Camping madness at Belfield

If you are thinking of visiting the magnificent sporting campus at Belfield, be warned -- the clampers are on the loose.

On Tuesday last I attended a girls' hockey match after which I returned to my car to find it clamped. Like many others I had committed the cardinal sin of parking on the 'common area' (or so it was written on my charge sheet) behind the rugby bowl, across the way from the hockey arena. It was not one of the seven offences listed and I parked there because there were no other parking spaces available.

The clamper, of course, was doing his job and, of course, the justifiable objective is to keep Belfield traffic flowing at all times. However, let there be no doubt this was opportunistic exploitation of people clearly attending a hockey match alongside and causing no obstruction or inconvenience to anyone whatsoever.

For the record, the UCD traffic authorities would like it pointed out that "we don't make a penny from clamping". Make of that what you will.

Meanwhile, referees, there to officiate at student matches, are apparently among the many clamped on an ongoing basis.

As with rules in sport, there is the letter and then there is the spirit of the law. This situation does little for the propagation of sport. I, for one, will be slow to return other than of necessity.

So, to any sports lovers out there who may be Belfield bound in the near future, be careful; the lunatics have the keys to the asylum and with carte blanche to judge and execute as they see fit.

Irish Independent

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