GDPR rules will make it more difficult to install CCTV at the location of a recent vandal attack in Ennis.
Last month, a World War 1 memorial at the Ennis Peace Park was vandalised in an anonymous and unexpected attack leading to a motion from Cllr Mary Howard at the Ennis Municipal District’s November meeting, “I believe CCTV is urgently required and needs to be provided to ensure the area is safe and deter this disrespectful behaviour in the future”.
Senior Executive Engineer, Eamon O’Dea in his official reply noted that the incident was “regrettable. The Ennis MD has contacted the Gardai and they have not received reports of anti-social behaviour in this area. It is the view of the Ennis MD Office that the provision of CCTV at this location is not an appropriate measure at this time given the cost and legislative requirements in providing and operating CCTV”.
A disappointed Cllr Howard of the Fine Gael party pointed to a statue of the founder of Fianna Fáil as an example of the regular incidents in the town, “we can’t even keep glasses on Eamon de Valera”. Regarding the war memorial, Howard said it cost over €70,000 but due to generous donations the final cost of installation was €26,000. “It has become an important part of our heritage, every day I go past I see someone there deep in contemplation. Someone went to the site with the intention of destroying the monument, it took a hammer. The act has hurt and upset so many people”.
Clarecastle councillor, Paul Murphy seconded the motion. “I have been there at several occasions down through the years and to see how much it means it people who have lost relatives is moving. What was done was heartbreaking. I believe it happened ten days in advance of when it came to light”. Cllr Pat Daly commented, “CCTV should be put in there, it’s a beautiful monument. These gurriers come along and to do something like this is disgraceful”. Mayor of Ennis, Clare Colleran Molloy said “I agree with the term gurrier being used”, Cllr Johnny Flynn supported the request and suggested it be tied in with putting CCTV along the section towards glór.
Director of Service, Carmel Kirby told councillors, “It’s unfortunate what has happened. With new GDPR it’s not as simple to put in CCTV, they need to have a number of instance to justify putting it in”.
Concluding the discussion, Cllr Howard stated she will bring the issue up on a regular basis and at JPC level. “We have had seven or eight commemorations there and not as much as a wreath has been touched. It hit me in the gut that somebody could go down and do it, gurrier is too nice, it was a spineless coward that would go down and do that”.