Over 3,500 people illegally removed clamps from their cars in Dublin last year

Figures indicate a six-fold rise in the number of illegally removed clamps over 12 months

Dublin City Council has said the total number of ‘code black’ or ‘illegally removed clamps’ in 2022 was 3,521.

The figures indicate a six-fold rise in the number of illegally removed clamps in the city between 2021 and 2022 – many of them in the vicinity of construction sites where heavy duty tools would be available, the council noted. There were 531 code blacks in the first 11 months of 2021, according to a previous council report issued in February 2022.

In October 2021 the council reintroduced parking wardens to hand out fixed-notice fines, in addition to continuing its clamping operations, at least partially in response to the number of code blacks.

Removal of a parking clamp causing damage is an offence under the Criminal Damage Act, 1991. The council and private parking enforcement companies have warned any such incidents are reported to An Garda Síochána.


Eight of the top 10 streets in Dublin City where motorists were most likely to be clamped in 2022 were in the south city area.

In all just two of the top 10 sites where the clampers were busiest, were north of the river.

The number one street for clamping was Clarendon Street in Dublin 2, a narrow street in the heart of the south city’s premier shopping district, running parallel to Grafton Street. In the 12 months there were 771 clamps in Clarendon Street.

Next most busy was Mespil Road along the banks of the Grand canal where 701 clamps were issued.

This was followed in third place by the city’s South Circular Road where 607 clamps were issued.

In fourth place was Chelmsford Road, Ranelagh, where 559 clamps were put in place. Fifth place when to Waterloo Road in Ballsbridge with 507 clamps.

In sixth place was the North Great George’s Street in the north inner city residential and business district. A total of 447 clamps were imposed on vehicles in North Great George’s Street during the year.

In seventh place was Merrion Square South with 451 clamps. Eight place went to “Ranelagh” where 430 clamps were issued and ninth place went to Castleforbes Road in Dublin 1. Synge Street in the south inner city came in tenth with 377 clamps.

Clamping charges in Dublin increased from €80 to €125 from the start March 2022, following a request to the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, from Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council is concerned however about the number of “code blacks” – the removal of clamps from vehicles which the council noted is often carried out near construction sites where tools to cut clamps are readily available.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist