ANTI-social behaviour is a serious problem for some residents of Rossbracken, this week’s meeting of Shannon Town Council heard, while there were calls for CCTV to be introduced at the estate.
There were also calls for two laneways in the estate to be closed, a proposal two of the members brought before the meeting.
Councillors Sean McLoughlin and Gerry Flynn put forward a motion asking that “Shannon Town Council request Clare County Council to begin the process to close the alleyways between 4 and 5 Rossbracken, due to some unsociable activity causing disturbance to local residents.”
However, in a written response, Eugene O’Shea, the senior executive engineer for the Shannon area, opposed closing them.
“The alleyways between 4 and 5 Rossbracken are public rights of way with underground public services and the area office would not favour closing them. Members of the public have the right to access these alleyways. Instances of anti-social behaviour at these locations should be referred to An Garda Siochána. Any proposal to extinguish the public rights of way would require consultation with residents in Rossbracken and approval by the elected members of Clare County Council.”
Councillor Flynn said he was “somewhat taken aback” at the reply, saying both himself and Councillor McLoughlin had met with Mr O’Shea.
He said it was “a bit rich” for Mr O’Shea to state that the area office wouldn’t favour the move, given that he doesn’t have to live with the anti-social behaviour.
Councillor McLoughlin said there has been a lot of anti-social behaviour in the area and the two walkways have been the target.
“One gentleman is at his wits end over this and it’s unfair to expect any resident to put up with any anti-social behaviour, especially in their own home at night.”
He said he hoped to have it on the agenda at the next meeting of Shannon area county councillors.
Councillor Michael Fleming said the issues with underground services could easily be dealt with by putting in gates at both ends of the alleys. He also said referring problems to the gardaí simply doesn’t work because by the time they arrive, the troublemakers have generally taken off.
“I think it’s important that residents would be able to sit back and relax and enjoy the comfort of their own home and not be tortured by individuals.”
Councillor Vincent Coleman said with the problems arising, it might be time for an increased garda presence in the area.
Independent Patricia McCarthy said it is well and good to refer problems to the gardaí but everyone knows the troublemakers would spot the cars coming at an early stage and escape. She suggested putting in mobile CCTV for a period of time, in an effort to tackle the issue.
While the town clerk Liam O’Connor said signage would have to be put up saying the CCTV was in operation, Councillor McCarthy said it could simply be put up at the entrance to the estate, rather than saying where precisely the cameras are. She also said it is possible to keep coming up with “obstacles and excuses” but the problem does have to be solved.
The idea was supported by Councillor Greg Duff, who said he is aware of one place where installing cameras has led to a reduction in anti-social behaviour.
Councillor McLoughlin agreed with the introduction of CCTV and said dealing with the problem would be a long process.
Town manager Bernadette Kinsella said she didn’t know what the availability of mobile CCTV would be like and she would have to look into it.