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Tuesday, 19th October 2021

Rathmullen CCTV should be re-instated as a matter of urgency - Byrne

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Councillor Joanna Byrne.

Councillor Joanna Byrne has called for the community CCTV system in the Rathmullen and Marley's Lane areas of Drogheda to be re-instated as a matter of urgency.

The Sinn Féin Councillor asked about the community CCTV in the Rathmullen and Marley's Lane areas at last week's Joint Policing Committee meeting which took place within 24 hours of the shocking arson attack on the Drogheda Boys FC facilities, the second such attack in less than five months. 

Councillor Byrne asked Council and Garda representatives at the meeting why these cameras had yet to re-instated despite a commitment from Council's Chief Executive Joan Martin and the inter-agency committee she chaired at the height of the feud in 2020 that a tender process for a contract to reinstate CCTV into Moneymore and other areas would begin. 

Cllr Byrne acknowledged “the Moneymore area was hit particularly hard throughout the feud but so too was the Rathmullen /Marley's Lane areas which are still suffering as a result.” 

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Councillor Byrne told the meeting that it would be remiss of her not to mention the latest attack on the football club which she said had caused damage to the tune of €50,000.  

“Here we are again” she said, with substantial damage done to this club which will result in their showers and changing rooms having to be demolished.

“This attack has also damaged their electricity connections and we now have in the region of 300 children that will not be able to train or play their matches for the foreseeable future with no lights. 

“This attack is not just an attack on the football club but an attack on the wider community and on the town that pulled together to fundraise after the last arson attack to get them back on their feet. 

“What's twice as sickening is there is community CCTV right beside these pitches that is not switched on, considering these attacks and the ongoing anti-social behaviour with dumping, drug dealing and other small fires in the area, this has to be reviewed as matter of urgency.” 

Councillor Byrne also slammed the Council for their response to tackling the issues in the area. “I've met with the Chairman of this club and it has to be said there's an element of frustration with the Council” she said.

“No assistance has been forthcoming from the local authority, even in the aftermath of their previous attack. There is a perception that the Council are unwilling to tackle the lawlessness which is evidently escalating in the area.

“Not only does this need to be addressed, it needs to be prioritised, and it has to start by pursuing the re-installation of the CCTV which will act as a deterrent and aid An Garda Síochana in their endeavours on the area.

“The Guerin Report highlights this need also, and I'm asking you to pursue through the Implementation Board funding to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure back into the area. The Council need to step up for this community." 

Cllr Byrne was informed in response by Director of Services Paddy Donnelly that there is currently no funds available to implement any further CCTV in the area and also pointed out that the Implementation Board had not even had its first meeting to date but her remarks and request were noted.

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