Demand for CCTV in all towns in county

Councillors are calling for CCTV cameras to be set up in every town in the county following a fatal N3 hit and run in the east of the county earlier this month.

Speaking at the Ballyjamesduff Municipal District meeting last Thursday, September 8, Cllr TP O’Reilly (FG) contended that CCTV footage from local companies such as the New Inns Piggery was of major evidential value to gardaí investigating the death of pedestrian, Frank Nulty from Billis.

His comments followed a motion put forward by Independent Cllr Shane P. O’Reilly for more CCTV in operation throughout all towns and villages in the county to reduce crime rate.

Cllr Shane P. O’Reilly was disappointed by the number of committee projects being destroyed around the county by a small number of vandals.

“This is a problem in every village. We saw it when the Church of Ireland was vandalised in Virginia.

“Work is being trashed and destroyed. Vigilante groups could be on the way. Idle hands do idle work.”

Fine Gael’s Winston Bennett agreed. “It’s a disgrace. Every town and village should have CCTV. All the obstacles we face to have cameras is a joke. Every country in the world has them. Even the North has cameras, why not Ireland?”

He highlighted how CCTV in place in Ballinagh is delivering for the community. “If something happens in Ballinagh, it only takes 24 hours to know who did it. Ballinagh has seen less of it [crime] because people know they’re going to be caught.”

Cllr Craig Lovett (FF) put forward the idea of including An Garda Síochána in such projects to ensure CCTV is viewed appropriately when necessary. He declared that the hub for the cameras needs to be located in the local garda barracks. However, he said that the gardaí refused to be involved in a similar proposition previously.

Responding, the Senior Executive Officer, John Donohoe, said that General Data Protection Regulations were hindering the widespread rollout of CCTV systems.

He reported that a similar idea was raised at the Joint Policing Committee meeting earlier in the month and was immediately shot down. However, Mr Donohoe advised the councillors to send a letter for it to be discussed further at the next JPC meeting.