Borrisokane: a critical traffic junction
There have been calls for a community CCTV system to be installed in Borrisokane under a new Department of the Environment scheme and that Tipperary Council should pick up the bill.
The call was made by Cllr Joe Hannigan who said the town was a major through traffic point with three main roads passing through it.
The town stands at the crossroads for traffic coming from Nenagh and heading to Galway or on to Birr or Athlone.
Cllr Hannigan made his call at Nenagh Municipal District Council following the recent aggravated burglary in Coolderry, Roscrea, in which an elderly man was attacked and beaten.
However, his suggestion that the council foot the cost was rejected by district manager Marcus O'Connor, who described the scheme as “badly designed”.
He pointed out that there had only been a take-up of the scheme in two or three towns nationally.
“It is a policing matter. I can't understand why the Department of Justice hasn't taken the lead. It would improve the function of the Gardai,” he sad.
Under the scheme, the Department pays 60 per cent of the installation cost, with the local community paying the balance.
“The contribution is too high and a lot of money to expect people to fork out,” said Mr O'Connor. “The first port of call (for funding) shouldn't be the local authority, but nationally.”
Mr O'Connor said the council “shouldn't be picking up the tab for something that is designed badly. It's a policing matter. Give them the resources.”
He agreed CCTV was needed, but told Cllr Hannigan it would have to go through County Tipperary Joint Policing Committee.
“We can't do a solo run because others will be looking for it,” he said. “That's council policy.”
However, Cllr Hannigan maintained that he understood that the 40 per cent balance was to be paid by the local authority.
He urged that the council take the lead on the matter.
“A serious opportunity is being missed. Borrisokane is a criticial junction and we have to be vigilant,” he said.
Cllr Hannigan was shot down on his assertion that just because it went into Borrisokane, it wouldn't mean other Tipperary towns would look for CCTV.
“Newport needs it as well and so does Ballina,” interjected Cllr Fiona Bonfield.
“That's bull,” replied Cllr Hannigan.
Cllr Hannigan's call was supported by Cllr Michael O'Meara, Cllr Ger Darcy and MDC Cathaoirleach Cllr John Carroll.
“Borrisokane would be an ideal project. There is a huge volume of traffic. It would help the Gardai monitor movement,” said Cllr O'Meara.
Cllr Darcy said that “every tool” should be used to catch criminals in rural areas. CCTV was particularly needed in Borrisokane.
Cllr Seamus Morris said that rural Ireland was under “daily attack” with criminals going around with “complete impunity from being caught or punished”.
He said that people were afraid to leave their homes to go on holidays.
Cllr Morris stated that rural areas were now being used for drug drops.
However, he pointed out that the gangs “can't operate without local people casing places”.
Cllr Morris further reminded people to be careful what they buy at some car boot sales.
“If people are buying cheap goods at car boot sales, some of it has to have been stolen” he maintained.
He didn't believe that the crime rate had dropped but that people were “fed up”.
“We haven't enough Gardai. We used to have Gardai who lived in their communities but that has changed for the worse.,” said Cllr Morris. “There are not enough Gardai on the streets.”
He said that when people were arrested and convicted they should be put into prison. “Some of these people have 20, 30, 40 convictions and they are given bail and back out terrorising communities,” he said.
It was agreed that the issue of CCTV should go to the JPC.