Northern Ireland news

IRSP threaten to cut off wheel clamps placed on cars owned by healthcare workers

The IRSP has threatened to use an angle grinder to cut off wheel clamps placed on vehicles owned by healthcare workers
Connla Young

THE IRSP in west Belfast has threatened to cut off wheel clamps placed on vehicles used by healthcare workers.

The republican party made the threat after it was claimed a clamp was put on a worker's car at the Royal Victoria Hospital this week.

Pictures were circulated on social media.

Health chiefs have ordered free parking for healthcare staff until March next year.

In a post on Facebook, the IRSP said it had "acquired an angle grinder" and "we will be available to cut any clamps off vehicles of healthcare staff affected".

Michael Kelly, a spokesman for the IRSP in the Lower Falls area, said parking should be free.

"We were informed by NHS staff that their vehicles were at risk of being clamped when they returned from shifts," he said.

"The same workers who only months ago were, rightly, being greeted as heroes for risking their lives to defend us all from Covid-19."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin health spokesman Colm Gildernew has said the clamping of healthcare workers cars is wrong and revealed his party will be "bringing forward a bill to the assembly to abolish hospital parking charges".

IRSP Lower Falls spokesman Michael Kelly

“This is a time where people should be rallying around our health workers, not pressuring them with added costs while providing a vital service to keep people safe," he said

A spokesman for the Belfast Trust said "parking is prohibited in certain areas for safety or access reasons".

“The vast majority of staff fully respect this and use the designated parking areas," he said.

"We do not comment on individual cases but would underline that free parking facilities do not remove the need for enforcement in other parts of a hospital site."

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