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Neglect Of Thurles – Immoral & Malicious Without Motive

A fourth assessment examining the administration failures in Thurles by Templemore / Thurles Municipal District and Tipperary County Council.

First Click on Link (A) http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/02/polution-of-river-suir-continues/

Second Click on Link (B)  http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/09/st-patricks-cemetery-gates-reflect-an-image-of-thurles/

Third Click on Link (C) http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/10/thurles-administration-their-fitness-to-practise-in-question/

Back on August 27th, 2017, we asked a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, “Does the Thurles Town closed-circuit television (CCTV) , latter used in public area surveillance, actually work?”

The question was then raised because of malicious damage caused within the Thurles town centre, during that period and prior to that date which had gone undetected.

News of CCTV being introduced into our towns public areas had been initially welcomed back in December 2012. This new public area surveillance system was costed as being in the region of one hundred thousand euro (€100,000), with 70% of the cost to be covered by “Pobal”. (Pobal: a not-for-profit company managing programmes on behalf of the Irish Government and the EU; supporting communities and local agencies in their efforts to achieve social inclusion, reconciliation and equality.) A further 20% of the cost was provided by Thurles Town Council, while the final 10% was aided by local business through Thurles Chamber of Commerce.

Back then we were informed that the entire system would be designed, installed and maintained by three Tipperary companies named as:- Hall Alarms based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary; Future Security in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary and Amarach Technologies, latter also based in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Hall Alarms was awarded the tender to install the Thurles town centre CCTV system.

Relevant Legislative Pertaining to the Introduction of CCTV.
Section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act, 2005 requires the Garda Commissioner to authorise the installation and operation of CCTV in public places for security and public safety reasons. Section 38(3) describes three categories of persons who may be authorised by the Garda Commissioner to install and operate CCTV systems in public places – (a) members of An Garda Síochána; (b) person s retained under contract by An Garda Síochána; and (c) “persons who meet established criteria and whose application for authorisation in respect of a specified area within the administrative area of a local authority who has been approved by the local authority after consulting with the joint policing committee for that administrative area”.

This is the fundamental legal basis for CCTV in the Thurles community

In November 2015 we were informed that the local authority was required to assume responsibility for the management and operation of the CCTV system in compliance with Data Protection legislation, [See pdf page 3].

Three years on, we now understand that this CCTV system has not properly functioned since early 2017, and while just some of the cameras continue to work today, the actual recording equipment has fully ceased in its capacity to function.

In June 2017 we became aware that the server for this CCTV was not operating and remained at the old Council offices, at Slievenamon Road, following the move by staff and officials to their new offices in Mathew Avenue.

In the words of William Shakespeare, “Ah, there’s the rub!”.  Were Gardaí to seek Co. Council management’s permission to view this now presently non-existent recorded footage, we learn that the council’s access operator / administrator, is presently not available due to sick leave issues.

Yet, back in October 2017 we were informed that discussions were ongoing with Gardaí with regard to CCTV in Thurles and that cameras would be installed at Thurles Town Park , which would have covered the Skateboard Park shown in video above, [See pdf page 7 and page 8]. In that same month it was known that the system was not functioning properly.

Today Gardaí would have to be actually sitting in front of a screen watching a crime, in order to make an arrest, however without CCTV recorded footage, the possibility of obtaining a prosecution would be “slim and none.”

Thurles Skateboard Park
From the video above we glean that the two-year-old Skateboard Park is now unsightly, with graffiti everywhere in abundance. In fact, the area rarely sees an actual skateboard. Instead, in the late evenings, youths are using the previous days uncollected supermarket trolleys to create their fun on the skateboard ramps.

‘The Source’ Car Park
Next door in the car park situated under the newly built Source Arts Centre & Library, (Again see Video) youths gather in small groups.  This €10 million Thurles Regional Arts Centre; Branch Library; a 250 seat Theatre boasting a large, shared, exhibition space, and Restaurant; situated in Cathedral Street, first opened in the late summer of 2006, (less than 12 years ago), bringing a contemporary urban design to the medieval fabric of our town.  This accessible, non-CCTV monitored building with its dirty neglected wooden façade, has become the target of idle hands. Insulation positioned on the low ceilings within this car park area is slowly being ripped apart over the entire vast area, with the bodies of parked and vacant vehicles often used as scaffolding, and for this same reason.

Street Landscapes.
Street furniture and other items existing on our thoroughfares are the constant target of graffiti vandals. One Latvian man currently living in Thurles has been arrested by Gardaí and indeed has pleaded guilty to some 18 charged of criminal damage and having in his possession a number of markers, with intent and without lawful excuse, to further damage property at unknown locations, but this arrested man is not acting alone and without our inactive €100,000 CCTV system’s recordings, well…………

It will be interesting to read the 2018 Tidy Towns Report this year, that is if we have applied to be judged at all.  Last year they gave us, most certainly out of an act of kindness, a mark of 293, out of a maximum of 450 marks.  You can read their report for 2017, by clicking HERE.

This Thurles community are not blaming Councillors and Municipal District Management for acts of vandalism and criminal damage through graffiti; [We raised the growing matter of graffiti in August 2011, October 2012, September 2017],  however, Councillors and Municipal District Management must accept fully, responsibility for their gross failure in delivering and dispensing even the simplest modicum of rudimentary administration.

A voice crying in the wilderness!
Right now the Thurles.Info website remain, to use the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice that crieth in the wilderness” with regard to the neglect of Thurles.  Surely there must be some other strong voices who are saddened by the fact that the major assets of this once prosperous town are being squandered and wastefully discarded, by those whose wages we pay.

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