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illegal parking

Ranelagh was the main blackspot in Dublin for clamping last year

Overall, the total number of vehicles clamped within Dublin city rose by 8% to 44,128 in 2023.

RANELAGH HAS EMERGED as the main blackspot for illegal parking in Dublin city with almost 900 vehicles clamped on the main street of the upmarket southside suburb last year.

Overall, the total number of vehicles clamped within Dublin city rose by 8% to 44,128 in 2023 – an increase of almost 3,400 over the previous year as traffic levels returned to normal following the ending of restrictions imposed during the pandemic in 2022.

The rise in clamping activity also resulted in revenue from offending motorists paying to have their vehicles released increasing by 16% to €4,839,500 – up almost €670,000 on 2022 levels.

In addition, Dublin City Council also received €851,473 from fines issued by parking wardens last year – an annual increase of 96%.

Parking fines were reintroduced in the capital in July 2021 to complement the council’s main parking enforcement method of clamping vehicles in order to address specific illegal parking offences such as parking on footpaths and bus lanes.

New figures published by Dublin City Council show the number of vehicles detected being parked illegally on Ranelagh – as the main street in the suburb is officially called – more than doubled in 2023 to 868 from 420 the previous year.

They reveal that the biggest problem on Ranelagh is illegal parking on a clearway which accounted for the overwhelming majority of vehicles clamped in the area.

Ranelagh’s main thoroughfare, which was only ranked ninth in terms of clamping numbers in 2022, overtook Clarendon Street in the city centre as the capital’s prime location for motorists to have their cars immobilised last year.

Clarendon Street – which runs parallel to Grafton Street at the back of the Westbury Hotel – had topped the list of locations in Dublin city for illegal parking since 2020.

It still remains a prime area for parking enforcement officials as 706 motorists had their vehicles clamped on Clarendon Street in 2023, although it was down from 751 in 2022.

The third ranking location for detecting illegal parking was Mespil Road adjacent to the Grand Canal where 609 vehicles were clamped last year.

Figures released by Dublin City Council under freedom of information legislation show other areas where there was an increase in clamping rates last year include Merrion Square, North Circular Road and Fitzwilliam Square.

Areas which had not previously featured in the top 20 list of illegal parking blackspots were Parnell Street and Hatch Street.

Vehicles were found to be parked illegally at almost 1,600 different locations across the city by parking enforcement staff from Dublin Street Parking Services operating on behalf of the council.


The greatest number of vehicles clamped in a single day last year was 200 on Thursday, 17 August.

The cost of the clamp release fee is €125. Vehicles are removed to the city car pound if the release fee is not paid within 24 hours, at which point motorists will have to pay a €250 removal charge plus €35 daily storage charge to recover their vehicles.

Approximately 40% of all vehicles clamped last year – around 17,600 – were due to a failure to pay for a parking space.

Around 5,000 vehicles were clamped for parking on a clearway with 2,000 vehicles clamped for parking on a footpath and another 23 for parking on a cycle track.

Almost 1,400 motorists had their vehicles clamped for parking in a bus lane with a large portion of offences detected on Waterloo Road and South Circular Road.

Some 1,200 vehicles were detected parked on a double yellow line.

A total of 379 motorists were caught parked in a space reserved for disabled drivers without a valid badge, while 45 were clamped for the misuse of a charging only bay for electric vehicles.

Data provided by Dublin City Council show motorists are most likely to be clamped on Thursdays, while more than a quarter of all vehicles are clamped between 8am and 10am.

Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan has called on Dublin City Council to review the whole concept of clamping as a method of parking enforcement.

A motion by Geoghegan seeking for councillors to be consulted on whether clamping should be continued instead of alternatives used by neighbouring local authorities is expected to be debated at a forthcoming meeting of the council’s south-east area committee.

Geoghegan is also seeking for the services provided by Dublin Street Parking Services to be independently reviewed prior to the expiry of its current contract with the council which is due to end in July.

“No extension of the contract, or publication of a new tender for a contract for clamping, should take place prior to an independent examination assessing the impact clamping has had on illegal parking in Dublin City over the past five years,” said Geoghegan.

Figures provided by the other three local authorities in Dublin show that illegal parking in some areas surpasses the level of the problem in the city with over 2,000 motorists fined for a parking offence on Main Street in Lucan.

They accounted for almost a fifth of all parking fines issued by wardens in the administrative area of South Dublin County Council.

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Seán McCárthaigh
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