asked the Minister for Justice whether parking is prohibited in front of Government Buildings between the side entrance to Leinster House and the main entrance to the College of Science; if so, when the necessary statutory order was made; and, if not, under what authority members of the Garda Síochána prohibit motorists from parking their cars there.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Parking at Government Buildings.
There is no statutory prohibition on the parking of cars in the immediate vicinity of Government Buildings but it is customary for the local gardaí to ask motorists not to park their cars in positions which would impede business of Government.
Article 11 of the Dublin Parking Bye-laws 1962 provides that the driver of a motor-vehicle must comply with all directions given to him by a garda in uniform in relation to the parking of a vehicle or its removal from a place where it is parked.
I have been assured by the Garda authorities that the gardaí have experienced no difficulties in this regard and that motorists generally accept the garda directions with courtesy and an appreciation of the situation.
Does the Minister appreciate that he has used two different words? He spoke first of all of a request being made by a member of the Garda Síochána. Later on he dealt with the power of a garda to issue directions. Is it not the position that a garda may not issue a direction based upon the personal convenience of Ministers who may be in Government Buildings and want to have their cars parked near the door? There is no obligation on members of the public to respond to a request. A direction must be based upon a statutory provision. There is no statutory restriction in respect of that part of the roadway.
Article 11 of the Dublin Parking Bye-Laws provides that a driver must comply with directions given to him by a garda in uniform. This practice has gone on, so far as this Party are concerned, for the past 30 years, I suppose, and the Deputy did not feel fit to change it when he was caretaker of a former Minister for Justice.
I have no doubt that gives the Minister tremendous satisfaction, but I am now asking him to state as a matter of fact, is it not correct that a direction may not be issued by a garda to stop a person parking there because there is no statutory prohibition against parking there? Is that not a fact?
I have quoted the parking bye-laws for the Deputy and he can interpret them in whatever way he wishes.