Cc: Secretariat of Mr Gemelli (EU Committee on Petitions) ; Prime Minister Bertie Ahern ; Republic of Ireland Ombudsman ; Republic of Ireland Minister for Justice (Mr Michael McDowell) ; Council of Europe Directorate General of Legal Affairs ; Executive Secretary of GRECO (Mr Manuel Lezertua) ; Secretarial Assistant (Mrs Marie-Rose) ; European Parliament Ombudsman ; Margot Wallstrom (European Union Environment Commissioner) ; Mr Helmut Betz (Directorate-general for the European Parliament Presidency) ; President Mary McAleese ; Joe McCartin (Member of European Parliament) ; Sean O'Neachtain (Member of European Parliament) ; Dana Rosemary Scallon (Member of European Parliament) ; Joseph Rowntree Foundation ; William Finnerty (Yahoo) ; William Finnerty (Eircom a/c) ; Liam O'Finnachta (finnachta.com) ; Billy Finnerty (MSN Hotmail) ; Finnachta (Eircom a/c)
Sent: Saturday, August 03, 2002 10:57 AM
Subject: Car clamping incident in Galway City on August 1st 2002 (European Parliament reference: Petition 809/2001)

European Parliament reference number:  Petition 809/2001
Dear Commissioner Byrne,
Some minutes after purchasing a piece of computer software in a shop named COMPUSTORE (in Galway City) on August 1st 2002, I walked the short distance back to my car and found that it had been wheel clamped.  The time then was approximately 2 p.m.
The COMPUSTORE shop in question is located in Galway Retail Park, and this particular car park has a number of signs on public display for the past year or so - which give NO clue as to who their owners might be.  Photographs of two of the signs (numbered 2 and 3) which I refer to here can be seen at www page location:
I returned to the COMPUSTORE shop straightaway, and one of the people working there phoned the Garda (Police); and, while we were waiting, this person informed me that they have had a whole string of similar complaints in the past year or so. Some minutes later a Garda car containing three Garda officers (driven by Garda Aileen Marinan) arrived at the scene.  Garda Andy Burke acted as spokesman and basically told me that "it was a civil matter", and that there was nothing they could do: particularly as I had at one point (between 12 noon and 2 p.m.) left the Galway Retail Park to visit the shopping complex on the opposite side of the road - a mere 50 yards or so away from where my car was parked. Garda Burke suggested that I discuss the matter with a solicitor, and the Garda car then drove off - leaving me to deal with my predicament by myself.
Shortly afterwards I asked one of the wheel clambers for his name - which he said was Noel O'Boyle.  When I asked who he worked for, he REFUSED to tell me.  (Neither he nor his companion were wearing any uniform of any kind.)
Following this I walked the mile or so to Mill Street Garda Station and Garda Michael Gearan at reception recorded the wheel-clamping incident I related to him in his log book under the reference number 459. I also provided him with a copy of the receipt dated August 1st 2002 for €121.64 that I had just hours before received from COMPUSTORE.  Rigidly following the pattern of his colleagues, Garda Gearan also told me there was really nothing he could do because it was "a civil matter", and that I needed to consult a solicitor. 
I then asked to talk with someone more senior, and the Garda Station Sergeant on duty at the time entered the reception area (who as far as I can recall told me his name was Brendan Carroll).  He also told me there was nothing he could do: that it was a civil matter, and that I should consult a solicitor.
Then, in desperation, and as a last resort, I decided to start roaring and shouting at the top of my voice using all the obscenities that could I think of.  In addition, I threw various bits and pieces of my belongings around the reception area (a number of times).  Soon, an audience of some 15 or so people had gathered; and, as Sergeant Carroll was on the verge of charging me with a breach of the peace, I pointed out to him that I felt I was being VERY SEVERELY provoked: because the police kept on - and on - refusing to help me in circumstances whereby I believed my car had been UNLAWFULLY clamped - having due regard for the fact that they (the police) were unable to provide me with a SINGLE shred of evidence that the clamping my car had just been subjected to was in any way remotely lawful
To his credit, Sergeant Carroll then began to listen a bit better to the things I was trying to explain to him, and presently he admitted to me that he himself has felt for some time that there is something very strange - which he does not understand - about the ONGOING car clamping operation in Galway Retail Park.  By this time, it was about 4 p.m.
Several hours later (at around 8 p.m.), Sergeant Carroll eventually arranged for a Garda car to take me from Mill Street Station back to my own car in the Galway Retail Park.  When we arrived, the wheel clamp had been removed (even though I had NOT paid any part of the €50 which was earlier demanded from me). 
I then asked the three Garda with me in the car (which included Garda Mark O' Sullivan and Garda Paudie O'Shea) if they would witness a short conversation between myself and the wheel-clamper who earlier in the day told me his name was Noel O'Boyle.  They agreed.  I then asked the wheel-clamper if he would tell me his name.  He refused.  I repeated the question, and he refused a second time.  I then asked him if he would tell me the name of the company he worked for.  He refused.  I repeated the question, and he refused again.  I looked at the three Garda in a silent questioning kind of way: and they all asserted there was NOTHING they could do.
Allowing for the fact that I am a regular user of the above mentioned car park, and for the extremely disturbing, degrading, and time wasting ordeal I was put through last Thursday, I now feel I have EVERY right to ask (and to be given) clear, direct answers - by the Garda - to the following four questions:
1)  Who are the legal owners of Galway Retail Park ?
2)  Who are the legal owners of the signs shown in the photographs marked 2 and 3 at www page address:
3) What are the names of the two wheel-clampers who clamped my car ?
4)  What is the name of the company that the two wheel-clampers work for ?
It would be much appreciated if you could let me have a written answers to the above four questions within the coming 14 days please.  It would also be appreciated - PLEASE - if you did NOT refer me to solicitors. 
As I explained to several of the police officers at Mill Street Station (in response to their suggestions to consult solicitors), I have come to see lawyers in the Republic of Ireland as a COMPLETE waste of time when it comes to dealing with anything that is connected with the taboo subject of State corruption - as I suspect the unlawful (as I see it) clamping operation now going on in Galway Retail Park forms a tiny part. 
Should you wish to know reasons for my present lack of confidence in lawyers in the Republic of Ireland, please see the main text at the www address provided immediately below.  (You may wish to take PARTICULAR NOTE of paragraphs 4, 5, and 6 - which relate to the Waste Management (Amendment) Act, 2001.)
Hopefully, my present attitude towards lawyers in the Republic of Ireland will improve: however, that is a matter which I feel is highly dependant on when - if ever - senior politicians and senior State lawyers here in the Republic of Ireland start taking note of what ordinary citizens such as myself are trying to point out to them in letters such as this one.  It might also be very helpful if they were to pay  MUCH  CLOSER  ATTENTION to the information contained in the GRECO and Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports on corruption in the Republic of Ireland referred to at the following www page address:
Later today, I intend to send a printed and signed copy of this e-mail to you through the registered post.  In addition, and mainly for the purpose of providing a translation service into other European languages, I also intend to place a copy of the text of this e-mail at the following www page location sometime during this weekend:
Finally, I would like to finish by saying that - given the opportunity - I would prefer to have addressed this e-mail directly to Assistant Police Commissioner Jennings at Mill Street Garda Station in Galway City.  However, Sergeant Carroll (referred to above) was not willing to give me Commissioner Jennings e-mail address last Thursday.  I asked him a number of times for it in the presence of several of his colleagues, and he refused  - without giving any reason for why he was refusing.  Whatever his reason/s, I see his refusal to provide this information as WILFUL OBSTRUCTION (for no good reason): which I take a very dim view of
Yours sincerely,
Mr. William Finnerty
"St Albans"
New Inn
County Galway.

Signed printed copies of the above e-mail were sent through the registered post
on August 3rd 2002 to the three addresses shown on the Post Office receipts above.
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