The headstone of a deceased Dublin man has been repossessed from his grave by Dublin bailiffs due to monies owed to Dublin City Council for the non-payment of parking fines which total five-thousand-euros.
In a move which has angered friends and family of the deceased man, bailiffs acting for Dublin City Council late last night removed the headstone from the grave of James Smith who died in 2012.
Speaking from her home in Santry, County Dublin, Elizabeth O’Shea, who was the grand-daughter of the deceased Mr Smith, spoke to members of the press about the calamity.
“It’s absolutely shocking. I went out to visit Granddad’s grave yesterday, just to say a few prayers and leave some flowers and it was gone.
“Not a bit of the gravestone remaining. They just came in the middle of the night — the little feckers — and lifted the gravestone with a great big digger,” an emotional Mrs O’Shea conveyed to reporters.
James, known affectionately as Jimmy Smith, was seventy-five years of age when he died peacefully at his home and was well known in the locality as a keen gardener.
Forced to move Granddad’s car
“When Granddad Jim died,” Mrs O’Shea continued, “we had to move his car from the drive so as the undertaker’s hearse could get in close to the front door.
“Granddad had a twenty-year-old Ford Focus which he adored. He used to bring some of the other elderly residents out shopping — he was great like that, everybody loved him,” she said while wiping away a tear.
Just left it on the street ‘for two minutes’
“Anyway, we just moved the car out of the way of the hearse — just for two minutes as the undertakers were lifting out the coffin and some bloody parking warden came along and stuck a fecking ticket on it,” she relayed angrily.
“Granddad Jim was always good with his money; he even paid his water rates before they were due. And there wasn’t a Christmas that went by when he didn’t give a ‘little something’ to the lads that collected his rubbish — he was a lovely man,” she sobbed.
Heavy interest accumulated
“The fine for seventy-five-euro for illegal parking arrived in the post the next week and shur no one opened granddad Jim’s letters so of course, it went unpaid.
“What with penalties and interest the fecking council say we now owe five-fecking-grand. Jaysus, I suppose we could have got the money together but shur we didn’t know did we?” she asked rhetorically.
The response of Dublin City Council
A spokesperson for Dublin City Council issued a strong statement to clarify the Council’s reasoning and bat away any negative allegations against the Council.
“As far as we are concerned dead is dead and fines are fines. We can’t write off parking fines — unless, of course, it’s for politicians or our family members.
“Fines can’t be written off for every Tom, Dick or Harry,” the statement read, and finished by stating; “He owed the money; his house had been sold so we took the only thing left worth anything.”
Meanwhile in Ireland understands that the removed headstone will have the deceased’s name ground off and be re-sold to recoup the council’s costs along with the penalties and interest.