A quiet McHale Road beside MacHale Park. Image from Google Maps

Parking headache for residents on Mayo match days

IRRESPONSIBLE football fans are causing a major headache in residential areas in Castlebar on Mayo match days at MacHale Park.

Residents on McHale Road have raised the 'nightmare' situation they face with councillors.

They are not alone as home owners in Maryland have also voiced their frustration at fans blocking their access and damaging verges.

The McHale Road situation was highlighted by Councillor Blackie Gavin at the monthly Castlebar Municipal District (MD) meeting, who drew attention to a letter the residents association have sent to the MD's head.

On match days they can't get parking at their own homes. People, they explained, park there as there are no fees and others are too lazy to seek more appropriate parking spaces away from the road.

Another issue they are dealing with is people parking up and then walking to the train station to go on holidays. This is done deliberately so they don't have to pay and display at Castlebar Railway Station.

The situation on match days often leads to confrontations between residents and drivers, the letter further explained, which is totally avoidable if parking was properly controlled.

The residents were asking the MD to put a sign up at the entrance stating 'Parking Residents Only' and that each house be issued with a parking permit.

Councillor Gavin said it was 'scandalous' that people in the area were being treated like this and he wanted contact to be made with the county GAA board to ensure it didn't happen again.

He knew of a carer who could not get through to visit someone who was sick, and if an ambulance or the fire brigade had to get through, it was chock-a-block.

All councillors supported the residents but Councillor Michael Kilcoyne asked who was going to police it. The wardens don't work weekends and the gardaí will only give a ticket if traffic is blocked.

Senior engineer Ann Sweeney said parking by-laws would be coming before members later in the year and it might given them an opportunity to feed into them with the gardaí.