An Italian cyclist, who arrived in Ireland this week to attempt a dry run of the Irish leg of Giro d’Italia later in the year, became the unlucky recipient of Coalisland’s first parking ticket during a shopping trip in the town today.
Giovanni Sherri (28) was told by the warden that his bike was badly parked up against a wall outside Dorman’s Pharmacy and was issued with a £60 on the spot fine as well as a verbal warning about future conduct by warden Joe Quinn from the town himself.
Bystander and local man Kieran Corr (64) saw the whole incident pan out:
“I had just been saying to myself that the bike was badly parked. It had only the handlebar against the wall, instead of both wheels and the seat too. It was an accident waiting to happen. Thank God that traffic warden appeared out of nowhere and saved the day. We in Coalisland pride ourselves on our perfect parking tradition. How would he like it if we went to Italy and made spaghetti out of bits of string? Local customs must be upheld.”
Corr refuted suggestions that a spoof warden was used to get the media off their backs due to their suspiciously clear record. There were also reports of the warden Quinn buying a round of drinks in O’Neill’s later:
“Nonsense. OK, he was a local lad but he has an official yellow jacket, clipboard and ticket book. “
Meanwhile, Sherri admitted he enjoyed his time touring Tyrone and especially liked Stewartstown, describing it as ‘like something from 100 years ago’.
“I even met my far out relatives, the original McSherrys, who emigrated to Italy in the 1600s because they liked ice cream, meatballs, the mafia and fighting lions.”
He later admitted he wouldn’t be back.