‘Joint Policing Committee Public Meeting –an ideal opportunity for public engagement with An Garda Síochána – Feeley

Speaking in advance of the County Cavan Joint Policing Committee Public Meeting to be held on Monday 26th November 2018 from 7-9pm in the Slieve Russel Hotel, Cllr. John Paul Feeley, Chairperson of the Joint Policing Committee has called on anyone with an interest in policing, crime prevention and related issued to attend and avail of this ideal opportunity for public engagement with An Garda Síochána.

‘Annually the Joint Policing Committee must organise a formal public meeting. This year we decided to hold a total of three meetings, the first two were in Ballyjamesduff and Cootehill and were styled as Public Information Meetings. We had found in previous years that holding only one meeting for the entire county limited attendance and public engagement. These two meeting were extremely well attended and those who attended used the events in a constructive manner’

There is a cross over in terms of items dealt with at all three meetings in that there will be a presentation on the Property Marking Machine and Crime Prevention. There will also be an opportunity for Consultation for the Cavan & Monaghan Policing Plan 2019 and to ask question of senior Garda officers in the Cavan/Monaghan.

‘The holding of a total of three meetings has placed an additional drain of the scare resources of the County Council and local Gardaí. I acknowledge the cooperation of Chief Superintendent O’Reilly in this matter and the enthusiasm of the officers who attended and the great work of Grainne Boyle of Cavan County Council in organising the meetings. I strongly believe it has been a valuable exercise for the Council, the Gardaí and those communities represented.’

One of the major initiatives of the Joint Policing Committee was the purchase of a Property Marking Machine. This has already been made available to some communities in the County and the earlier meeting have resulted in greater understanding of and interest in the machine and the idea of marking property with an Eircode.

“Every measure we can take to make live more difficult for the criminal and discourage crime and where it does arise assist the Gardaí in tracing stolen goods is to be encouraged. The property marking machine is one such measure, it is simple, cheap and effective. It and taking the advice of the Garda Crime Prevention Officer who will speak on the night all make communities less attractive to criminals.’

Concluding, Councillor Feeley encourage as many people as possible to attend.

€ 700,000 investment in on Belturbet to Corraquill Recreational Trail – Feeley

Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the allocation of € 500,000 under Measure Thee of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme from the Department of Rural and Community Development which is matched by funding of € 200,000 from Cavan County Council to develop a 6km trail from Belturbet Town to Lock One at Curraquill via the old Aghalane Bridge on the Shannon-Erne Waterway following the towpath on the Woodford River. It will include the re-instatement of the old footbridge on the Ragg River.

‘This funding is the second phase of a much larger and ambitious plan shared by Cavan and Leitrim County Councils, Waterways Ireland and local communities to create a greenway from Belturbet, County Cavan to Drumod, County Leitrim and taking in Ballyconnell, Templeport/Bawnboy, Ballinamore and Mohill along the route of the waterway and the old Cavan Leitrim Railway and linking back to the International Scouting Centre at Castlesaunderson and in time the Ulster Canal.’

Cavan County Council, in conjunction with Waterways Ireland and in cooperation with local landowners are currently progressing the construction of a 5.5km stretch from Ballyconnell to Bellaheady.

‘The funding confirmed today could not be drawn down without the huge work put in to preparing the application for funding on the part of the Community and Enterprise Section of Cavan County Council, the local area staff of the County Council and local community input through Belturbet Walking and Heritage Group, Kilcorby Log Cabins and local landowners.’

The routes developed by Cavan County Council in partnership with Waterways Ireland are aimed at providing a predominantly off-road Greenway for cyclists and pedestrians and will link into other local cycling and walking trails and local tourist attractions within the region.

‘This type of development should not been seen as simply for tourists, it is opening up the waterways for locals also providing a significant amenity to encourage exercise, it will create an ecological corridor along the river that is accessible to the community as well as help build local economic activity.’

‘The next phase will be to continue to route along the Canal from Corraquill back to Ballyconnell, thus linking the two towns via Greenway in what will then be the first substantive section of the wider more longterm project. I know that Cavan County Council are actively advancing those plans.’

Concluding, Councillor Feeley stated that he looked forward to the project going to tender and work commencing in the coming month.

“Recent upsurge in crime in West Cavan is a major concern”- Feeley

In recent weeks there have been in number of crimes in the general West Cavan area and adjoining locations in counties Fermanagh and Leitrim which are a cause of major concern to local residents. During that time at least three quad bikes, a ride on lawnmower, other agricultural and garden equipment were stolen in the Dowra, Blacklion and Belcoo areas and one business premises broken into in Blacklion.
“I, and all local residents are very concerned about the recent spree of crime in our locality. These are the incidents which have been reported to the Gardai; there may be others and I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a crime to report the matter to the Gardai immediately.”
Some of the incidents, which happen in County Fermanagh would give the impression that the criminals involved were making use of the border as a mechanism to avoid detection. However there has been close cooperation between the Gardai and the PSNI in relation to these crimes. Councillor Feeley has also been in regular contact with senior Gardai in the area about the increase in in criminal activity locally and the need for additional Garda resources.
‘West Cavan is at a significant remove from the main Garda stations in the region and are therefore reliant on stations that are open only for a number of hours each week. There are however regularly Gardai on duty and patrolling the area outside of those hours. That being said there is a sense of isolation in rural communities such as those in West Cavan and this crime spree has certainly raised the levels of concern greatly.’
‘I would urge all locals to be particularly vigilant, to report any unusual vehicles or individuals to the Gardai immediately. If someone has a lawful reason to be in a particular place then they have no reason to be concerned if the Gardai query their business in the area. I would also appeal to people to be careful of their property and to keep an extra eye out for older or vulnerable people living locally. We can never stop crime but each of us can play a part in making crime more difficult.”

‘Vital Conservation Work Commences on Rathdown Church, Killeshandra’ – Feeley

‘Vital Conservation Work Commences on Rathdown Church, Killeshandra’ – Feeley
Fianna Fáil County Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the commencement of work to conserve the Rath Church, Killeshandra. The work will focus on the installation of a temporary roof to prevent the ingress of water into the vault ceiling of part of the structure as well as more long term conservation work to be complete over the next six months.
‘This building is a key part of the history of Killeshandra and the surrounding area. It is recognized as such as a National Monument. The current building from the Jacobean Era is of huge regional significance and it is essential that this structure is preserved for future generations and opened up to allow the current generation and visitors to the region appreciate the importance of the Rath Church.’
This programme of work is funded by €22,000 under the Structures at Risk Fund in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, €5,000 provided from the Cavan-Belturbet Discretionary Municipal Grants Scheme, €4,400 from the Heritage Office of Cavan County Council and a further €11,000 from the General Funds of Cavan County Council.
‘The local community have worked consistently and diligently on this project. They applied to participate in the ‘Adopt a Monument Scheme’ and have campaigned for and worked very constructively with the Heritage Officer of Cavan County Council, the Conservation Architects and the many others involved in advancing this project. I have had numerous meeting with members of the local community and on behalf of the group to help bring this to fruition. Deputy Brendan Smith and I also met with them earlier this year as part of the efforts to secure funding and also secure the essential consents to have the work completed.’
‘Despite limited Budgets, Cavan County Council and in particular the Heritage Officer, Annemarie Ward have been a source of great support, practical advice and vitally secure the funding for this project and engaging the professionals and contractors needed to get the work started.’