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STUDENTS SLAM THE CLAMP-ITS; Walk-out threat in row over parking.

Byline: By LISA O'CONNOR

STUDENTS at one of Ireland's top colleges have threatened to quit classes - because their cars are being clamped.

Management at Letterkenny Institute of Technology in Donegal have hired a private clamping company to deal with parking chaos in and around the grounds of the sprawling campus.

Although there are more than 2,500 students and teachers using the college, there are just 400 parking spaces.

Students are now using roads outside the college at Port Road - sparking huge congestion in the area.

A college management source said they had no option but to clamp vehicles: "The situation has simply got out of control and we need to deal with it sharply. Students are parking their cars all over the place - on footpaths, grass verges and in front of delivery bays."

The source pointed out that alternative arrangements had been made for students to park in the grounds of a nearby church and hotel.

"The problem is these students are simply too lazy to walk a few hundred yards," he added.

Now management has erected signs and warned students they will have to pay EUR65 to have their vehicles released if they are clamped.

A number of cars have already been fitted with clamps leading to heated scenes between students and clampers.

Councillor Jimmy Harte warned the college would have to look to purchase adjacent lands to solve the problem. But students have already met with a view to taking action including a walk-out from campus.

One student said: "Somebody will have to come up with a solution. There are too many cars and not enough spaces. We bring good money to this town and now we're being penalised for going to college.

"It's a disgrace the way we're being treated. There could be a walk-out soon."

CAPTION(S):

Flashpoint... Letterkenny College. Left: Clamping
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 19, 2008
Words:307
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