With the coming of the Easter holiday period traditionally signalling the beginning of the tourist season, many Tramore businesses and residents are resigned to another year of failure by the authorities to enforce the local laws on unauthorised trading and parking in the resort.

A complaint to that effect has been voiced by a former Tramore Mayor, Cllr Joe Conway, who said that despite having state-of-the-art camping and caravan sites available, there will still be a proliferation of camper-vans descending on the town and parking wherever they wish. “Many will park on the Prom, taking up two and three parking spaces. They will then empty waste into the storm drains and illegally dump litter and household matter into litter bins. Other visitors will then reasonably complain that Tramore’s litter bins are routinely full”, the councillor stated.

“When it comes to illegal trading, Tramore’s record on enforcement is bordering on the jocose. I am sure that there are so-called traders already procuring their wares to unleash on the bona-fide visitors to our town over the Easter break. These fly-by-nights have no permits, they have no loyalty to Tramore, pay no rates or taxes, and afford the public no statutory rights of the consumer. They illegally take up parking places and regularly obstruct and obscure safe-crossing places. I do not think that it is an exaggeration to say that both illegal campervans and illegal traders blight the town, for locals and regular visitors”.

Cllr Conway said the County Council had the powers and the legislation to ensure that such conduct did not continue, but they would not enforce the laws. “This is an affront to the local traders who pay so much in rates and charges to the same Council”, he said. “I cannot ever recall an instance of the Council successfully prosecuting even one case through the courts, nor am I aware of Tramore Town Council issuing a parking ticket to camper-vans taking up more than one bay.

“It is far from satisfactory that these breaches are ignored by the Council, yet businesses get prompt demands for rates, and people will have their bin-service terminated if they are late paying.

“It seems that the compliant are penalised, while the con-men prosper. It is a shameful record from our local authorities and one they should resolve to improve on for 2009”.