Clamping down on clamping

A chara, – While one would never encourage or condone someone doing criminal damage to the private property of another, it is hard not feel some sympathy for the actions of Gabriel McCallion in taking a hacksaw to the clamp that was placed on his car, thereby preventing him from the free use of his car which is, after all, his private property (News, September 6th). Clamping may well be within the letter of the law; but it is hard to accept that it is within its spirit.

Our Constitution, after all, guarantees us due process when we are accused of wrongdoing; and yet when someone is clamped they must pay the release fee before any opportunity is afforded them to appeal the penalty which has been imposed. That the majority of appeals are unsuccessful is of no particular relevance.

One of the guiding principles of our system of justice is that a person is innocent until proven guilty; and yet when it comes to clamping this is turned upside-down.

Therefore, despite the fact that Mr McCallion was undoubtedly being very naughty when he took direct action against the device that was making it impossible for him to drive home, I think that he may have done us all some small service if the news reports of the incident prompt some further public discussion of the issue. – Is mise,



Co Kilkenny.