Governments Community CCTV Scheme a shambles – Feeley

The Government’s much vaunted CCTV Scheme is in tatters according to Fianna Fáil Councillor and Chairperson of the County Cavan Joint Policing Committee, John Paul Feeley.
‘In theory any scheme to assist in the provision of Community CCTV to allow communities have the benefit of security cameras to prevent criminal and anti-social behaviour and indeed assist the Gardai in the pursuit of criminals is most welcome. The Scheme announced by the Government providing a total of €1 million over three years to provide such schemes around the country was welcomed by me and many others and our JPC has worked as closely as possible with communities and the Gardai in preparing applications thereunder. However the ‘devil in the detail’ in reality makes the scheme entirely unworkable and now the new General Date Protection Regulations (GDPR) has rendered the Scheme a shambles.’
The Scheme operated by the Department of Justice is governed by Section 38 of An Garda Siochana Act, 1995 requiring the approval for a CCTV Scheme application by the local JPC, the Local Authority who must act as Date Controller and the Garda Commissioner. The current scheme provides for 60% grant aid to a successful applicant community up to a maximum funding of €40,000 for a Scheme.
‘The County Cavan JPC have worked with a number of communities to prepare applications. Some communities have considered the application process and decided not to proceed. We have formally approved applications for Ballyjamesduff, Belturbet and Ballyconnell amongst others. The Council, through Municipal Grants and Town and Village Renewal Funding have provided additonal funds to support communities in their efforts. Depite much publicity indicating that funding had been allocated, Bailieborough have not even applied to the JPC for approval let alone sought the saction of the Garda Commissioner or submitted an application to the Department never mind recieve funding.’
‘According to a Parliamentary Question put down by Deputy Brendan Smith and answered by Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Justice on the 12th July 2018 the Minister confirmed that only one application had gone to the Department from County Cavan and it has been referred back for further information. No applications have been submitted for County Monaghan. Earlier this year the Minister confirmed that only four applictions attracting a total of €120,000 funding had been approved nationally under the Scheme’
‘The requirement that the recording equipment must be placed in a council owned property and cannot, under any circumstances be placed in a Garda property rules out many of the most isolated and vunerable communities in Rural Ireland, places where the Gardai do not have the kind of visibility that we and indeed the Gardai might want for want of resources. Furthermore the demand that a volunatary community group must stump-up 40% of the cost and agree to maintain the equipment for 5 years without any support towards maintenance and repairs is a major disensentive.’
‘Simply, between the conditions of the Scheme and the recent introduction of the GDPR this Scheme is unworkable and needs to be reformed. In reality whilst commuity input is welcome, the policing of the State is a matter for the Gardai and the Department of Justice and as such this funding should be administered and implemented by the Gardai with appropriate consultation from local authorities and communities.’
ENDS

Cavan County Council acquire ‘McIntyres’ former shop on Abbey Street, Cavan

Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has received confirmation from Chief Executive of Cavan County Council that the council has completed the purchase of the premises formerly known as ‘McIntyre’s’ at Abbey Street Cavan.
“Some months ago I noted that this premises was on the market and suggested to the Chief Executive that it would be sensible for the local authority to acquired it given its location immediately behind Cavan Town Hall and adjacent to the Abbey. Cavan County Council is currently undertaking a major renovation of Cavan Town Hall and the acquisition of such a significant portion of property behind it should facilitate the better use of the property in the years to come and also facilitate improved access to the historic Abbey in our county town.”
‘Cavan County Council with the assistance of Historic Structures at Risk Fund from the Department of Heritage concluding substantial works to the tower and to the Abbey generally to primarily preserve it for future generations but also to ensure that it is more accessible to the general public. There remains a great deal of work which Cavan County Council must take a lead on in preserving, interpreting and opening this very historic site to the people of the county and visitors alike.”
‘It is said that one never regrets purchasing the land beside your own property. In this case Cavan County Council have acquired a significant piece of property the centre of Cavan Town which abuts two sites for which Cavan County Council already has responsibility and which the County Council are anxious to maximise the potential of for the benefit of the town and County.’

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TII commit to work on N16 in 2019- Feeley

Cavan County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed confirmation from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) that they will provide a pavement scheme to address issues with the N16 in Blacklion in 2019.
“The condition of the N16 near Blacklion has been a matter of serious concern for me for the last number of months given the ongoing significant deterioration in the road surface. This has been particularly acute in the section from Loughan House back to and through the Village of Blacklion. I have highlighted the issue on numerous occasions with Senior Engineering Staff of Cavan County Council and directly with Transport Infrastructure Ireland.’
‘In recent months Cavan County Council have undertaken minor repairs to the road but the surface remains significantly below an acceptable standard for a national primary route and I welcome the fact that TII now ‘has an understanding as to how the location has been overlooked’ and I look forward to see work completed in early 2019.”
“Of course their commitment to provide funding are subject to the usual caveats but nonetheless it is now an issue that is firmly on the agenda and one which I will continue to pursue until all of the issues are dealt with and the N 16 at this location.”

Harris getting free pass on Cervical Cancer Debacle- Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley called for immediate political accountability for the total cervical cancer debacle rather than establishing another Tribunal of Enquiry.
‘The recent revelations about the cervical screening programme has done massive damage to the entire notion of health screening. We have to encourage people to take up appointments offered under the Cervical Cancer Screening Programme and also Breastcheck. I and I am sure every public representative in the country have spoken to people with concerns about checks they have had under either scheme. I urge them all to immediately contact their GP.’
‘Minister Harris and the CEO of the HSE Mr. O’Brien seem to conveniently know little about what actually happened. It seems extraordinary that the fact the State was involved in such a sensitive case involving a US lab and a major national screening programme was not discussed with both the CEO of the HSE and the Minister for Health. It begs the question that if this is not brought to the Ministers attention exactly what is on his desk.’
‘In recent weeks we have had Denis Naughton given a free pass on his ‘split personality’ response and now Minister Harris is getting a free pass on this serious matter. It seems normal political accountability has been suspended until such time as the referendum is dealt with at the end of the month. It seems the political establishment are determined to insure nothing gets in the way of their current objective’
‘I urge anyone with concerns about their previous screening results to seek medical attention urgently and I also urge anyone who has been affected by these disgraceful events to pursue this matter vigorously through the courts. It is only through the Courts that any mistakes in the HSE are properly held to account.’
ENDS