Two members of Manorhamilton Business Forum, Bernie McGauran and Chairman, Philip Rooney gave highly impressive presentations on the Manor's CCTV system to a well attended Joint Policing Committee public meeting in Sligo's Clayton Hotel on Thursday night.
The Sligo meeting was attended by community group representatives from all over the Yeats County as well as a representative of Manorhamilton and District Text Alert Committee. Bernie McGauran told the meeting that the Manor CCTV system was installed seven years ago in the town and it cost €100,000 to put in place.
It was funded through a Pobal (Government Agency) grant plus a contribution by the Manorhamilton Business Forum. The Manor CCTV system has 22 fixed cameras and 5 ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras.
The Manor CCTV system has aided the Garda Siochána, the Revenue Commissioners, the PSNI as well as other similar authorities, in their work relating to crime and other areas of public concern and community safety.
Among the examples that the Manor CCTV system played an assistance role in were suicide prevention, child protection as well as other community issues like vandalism, etc. Sometime ago a horse-box was stolen in Westport and the robber went through Manorhamilton on his way up North.
The registration of the vehicle towing the stolen horse-box was picked up by Manor CCTV and the horse-box was subsequently returned to its Westport owner. Similar success in crime detection and investigation has resulted from a robbery in Dromahair from which the vehicle involved travelled onto Manorhamilton on its way North.
Philip Rooney told the Sligo meeting of Manorhamilton Community Forum's plan to have the CCTV system extended to cover ten other towns and villages in North Leitrim. Mr. Rooney stated that an application to have the CCTV system extended to whole North Leitrim area had been lodged with the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD.
In regard to the CCTV North Leitrim extension grant application to the Minister, Philip Rooney expressed thanks to Deputy Tony McLoughlin, who was present at Thursday night's meeting, for his support the Manorhamilton Business Forum plan for the newly proposed North Leitrim CCTV system.
Thursday night's meeting was also addressed by Muintir na Tíre Northern Region Community Alert Development Office, Vanessa Clarke, Acting Garda Sligo/Leitrim Division Chief Superintendent, Mary Murray, Sligo/Leitrim Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Jim Fox and Louise McKeever, the Donegal/Sligo and Leitrim Road Safety Authority (RSA) Education Officer.
A few Sligo community representatives stated at Thursday night's meeting that there is some resistance in their rural areas to the installation of CCTV systems. Vanessa Clarke said the meeting was held to inform people how to access new funding being made available by the Department of Justice for text alert schemes and local CCTV systems.
There were a number of questions from the floor on issues like where to locate the CCTV cameras and when installed what kind of maintenance costs are involved. High Visibility (High Viz) vests and other similar items are available for everyone from the RSA – visit www.rsa.ie.