Newry Cathedral of Ss Patrick & Coleman and the Dominican (St Catherine’s) were erected in the century before motorised traffic and never had the necessity to provide car-parking facilities – a thing which is now impossible.
The Cathedral is happily able to avail of free parking on the Sabbath in the Water Street car park to its rear – but no such facility is available to the worshippers at Dominic Street. It seems particularly insensitive therefore that the Redcoats should deliberately target the Catholic worshippers of the Ballybot end of the town on the Sabbath, yet this is precisely what is happening.
One has got to question whether this is a consciously sectarian decision on their part: has a similar blitz of parking tickets been slapped on worshippers in the Downshire Road/Sandys Street area? Certainly not to this journalist’s knowledge!
Perhaps the powers-that-be consider that shoppers flocking early (11 am mass-goers were targeted last week) to the other ‘Cathedrals’ in The Quays and Buttercrane are hindered in their progress by the religious faithful?
I raise this issue because the priest at this morning’s mass expressed his concern and forewarned his faithful. The Dominicans are wholly dependent for their survival on the generosity of their congregations and will suffer greatly if Catholics are driven elsewhere by the antics of these autocratic ticket-scribblers.
On a similar theme I have noticed a definite shift of motorised traffic from the Hill Street/Mall area to the two ‘Shopping Malls’ : it is much easier to find a parking space in the former – if you are prepared to risk a ticket and fine. I am not!