Talking about cars has replaced sex as new “sins of the flesh”, says Dublin Cllr

— Cllr calls for balance, then says people “absolutely devastated” after cars clamped, and a business will close if the clamping is not stopped.

Talking about car parking results in “sermons for the pulpit” where cars have replaced sex as the new “sins of the flesh” which the Catholic Church used to preach about, a councillor said.

Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour) said that some balance was needed. She claimed that a customer was clamped when stopped in the cycle lane dropping off clothes to the Washboard Launderette and Dry-Cleaners in Harrold’s Cross.

Cllr Freehill, who supports footpath parking, previously claimed that the “militant wing of Green Party” with “fascist” behaviour put a “fatwa” on her.

This week, at Dublin City Council’s South East area committee, Cllr Freehill said: “Last Saturday week people in Harrold’s Cross were absolutely devastated, particularly at the Washboard, a laundry, one of the few in Dublin who wash, iron and starch laundry, and they provide a service for the area for the people.”

IMAGE: Google Street View shows an image of a person cycling around cars parked in the cycle lane at the location

“Here on a Saturday morning where people are trying to… including in that is the hospice, this place actually does the laundry for the hospice in Harold’s Cross, and when the people are coming to use and drop in their laundry they are being clamped. The thing is, surely Saturday morning, but I get a reply here that’s a little bit like something from the civil service that just does not relate to what I am talking about at all,” she said.

She said she knew a woman who used to cycle but has to drive because of a balance issue.

“I really thought from 10-12am was a reasonable time for a village,” said Cllr Freehill speaking about parking in the cycle lane. There was discussion on if the hours of the clearway was extended or not.

“Really what is going to happen here is that they are going to have to close up,” claimed Cllr Freehill, who said the nearest laundry which offered the same service was in Milltown where she said there were no buses to there.

“And I know when we mention anything on four wheels, it reminds me of when I was growing up when we used to get sermons for the pulpit about sins of the flesh and that sex was ‘an occasion of sin’. I feel any time four wheels is mentioned it’s a bit like an occasional sin. So, let’s kind of bring some balance. We have got to discourage people from using their cars, but do we want to make our villages busways or cycleways and that businesses can no longer function there?” said Cllr Freehill.

She said she was talking about “some kind of common sense and balance in all of this”, that “people seem to be concerned about their urban villages, but that this does not make it easier”, and that she wanted a more thoughtful response from the traffic department.

Cllr Carolyn Moore (Greens) said: “It’s a bit dismissive for Cllr Freehill to say, oh, ‘people care about their urban villages’ as if illegal parking has to be a part of that. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye — cars are clamped when they are parked illegally.”

She said that there needs to be parking but that does not mean that people will always mean that people will be able to take five steps from their car to the shop.

She added: “We cannot keep coming here and coming to the traffic and transport Committee month after month asking for enforcement on illegal parking and then asking for specific cases where we don’t enforce or turn a blind eye or ask for enforcement with a wink and nudge.”

Cllr Tara Deacy (SocDems) asked council Dublin City Council to provide areas where there is half-hour free parking like in “some rural areas” on Saturdays or “could it even be trialled even coming up to Christmas”.

Gerry McEntagart, area engineer for Dublin City Council said that when the clearway is not in operation that there is a greater risk of conflict between people cycling and buses.

McEntagart said that he thinks the 10-12am gap in the clearway time is still in operation. Cllr Freehill said it is not and that was when the person who contacted her was clamped and that she had “questioned it at the time”.

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour), the chairperson of the meeting, asked officials for clarity on the clearway operational hours.

CORRECTION: The line above attributed to Cllr Tara Deacy was originally attributed to Cllr Carolyn Moore. This is now corrected. apologises for any confusion or inconvenience caused.

CORRECTION #2: A quote by Cllr Carolyn Moore also originally said “It’s a bit dismissive for Cllr Freehill to say old people care about their urban villages…”. This should have said, “…to say, oh, people care about their urban villages…”. We are happy to make this correction.


  1. Lots of legal places to park here on Saturday mornings: across the road on the broad paved area in front of the shops, up the lane behind the laundry in Leinster Place, around the corner in Leinster Road or Parkview Avenue. You don’t have to endanger people, and that shouldn’t be your first choice.

  2. There is a reason for preventing cars from parking on footpaths and cycle lanes: it is to leave those ways clear for pedestrians, wheelchairs and prams on the footpath (not to mention leaving an obstruction-free path for those of limited vision), and cyclists on a cycle lane who are especially vulnerable on a road shared with all manner of motorised traffic. The necessity for a law to enforce these considerations is only because some people do not have enough common (?) sense or consideration for others to work this out for themselves. A cursory glance at the Rules of the Road will inform anybody who cares enough to look, what restrictions there are in parking a car. Apart from anything else it is a legal requirement (attested to when applying for a driving licence) to be aware these rules. Have you tried parking in Grafton St.? Plenty of room there.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.