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GAA fans `trap' residents in their homes

There were complaints about parking by fans attending Saturday night's match between Donegal and Tyrone. Picture by Philip Walsh

RESIDENTS were left "trapped" when fans attending the Dr McKenna Cup Final left their cars parked across driveways, it has been claimed.

The West Armagh Consortium (WAC) said it had been inundated with complaints following Saturday night's match between Donegal and Tyrone.

The final was due to be played at Derry's Celtic Park but was moved just days before throw-in to the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

The WAC, which is an umbrella group of community organisations, said cars were left on both sides of the main road on the approach to the ground, as well as side roads, causing "major problems".

They claimed residents on St Patrick's Park were "trapped in their own homes because inconsiderate football fans had parked at the entrance to their driveways".

"A lady pushing a pram had to walk on the main road for over 100 yards because the footpath was totally blocked. Cars also blocked the traffic lights beside the Spar shop on the Killylea Road," the group said.

"West Armagh Consortium will be bringing these complaints to both the PSNI and Armagh County Board because this situation is totally unacceptable."

The Armagh County Committee said it had consistently worked with residents to alleviate traffic issues and arranged meetings with homeowners and police. It is understood that no one turned up to the first meeting although concerns had been brought to the committee's attention.

A second meeting was organised with police present. In addition on Saturday, residents acted as stewards on traffic duties.

"We take our obligations very seriously and do not wish for any local to be inconvenienced," the committee said.

"We would like to assure all residents that we will continue to work with multi agencies to deal with any issues and to make as little disruption as possible to the local residents."

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