ALMOST 400 cars have been clamped at Cork University Hospital since 2016, it has been revealed.
Figures from the Health Service Executive, obtained by the Labour Party, show that more than 380 cars have been clamped in the hospital in the past three years or so.
Labour Local election candidate Ciara Kennedy has slammed what she describes as a “clamping culture” in CUH.
“Through my colleague, Seán Sherlock TD, we have been informed that more than 380 cars have been clamped in CUH since 2016,” she said.
“That’s 380 families affected by this cruelty of the clampers at a time when they are no doubt in an emotional place to begin with.
“No one is in the hospital for the fun of it, the recent Code Black is proof of that,” she added.
“It is more than galling to see a private company operate on what I believe is public land, at a profit against the taxpayer.”
Ms Kennedy called for an end to the clamping at CUH, which she described as “a particularly nasty way” to enforce parking restrictions.
“If someone is illegally parked then a ticket should be issued but you should not hold a person at such a location when we don’t know what sort of emotional journey they have been on,” she said.
“My colleague Peter Horgan has been working on the issue of security and safety in Kent station and the clamping culture there but this instance is much more raw and emotional to people.
“We don’t have sight on where that money is going; is it reinvested into the hospital? Or in the pockets of the private operator?” she asked.
“My feeling is the latter.”
There are 541 paid public car parking spaces on the grounds of CUH as well as 46 special needs spaces which are free.
There are also 106 public car spaces in the grounds of the consultants private clinic but these are not in the remit of CUH.
CUH recently applied for planning permission for a new helipad on hospital grounds.