Upgraded CCTV for vandalised Cork cemetery a 'positive step'

Upgraded CCTV for vandalised Cork cemetery a 'positive step'
Vandalism damage to headstones/Graves, at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE news that Kilcully Cemetery is set to get upgraded CCTV has been labelled as a “very positive step” by the Kilcully Action Group who have been campaigning for immediate additional security after the graveyard experienced widespread vandalism earlier this month. 

Speaking to The Echo, Laura Carey Kiely of the Action Group said: “It’s very positive news, but we’re not treating it as a big celebration until we have a copy of Monday night’s meeting minutes in writing and we see the promises being actioned,” she said.

The cemetery is now set to get upgraded security features, which will be rolled out in the next few weeks. The specification of the current CCTV cameras is to be upgraded, with a voiceover system added. The cameras are also to be monitored by a private contractor, who will alert the Gardaí if illegal activity occurs. Public lighting in the area is also set to be upgraded.

Speaking to The Echo, Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould said that the meeting was “positive and constructive”. 

“Initial security upgrades should be completed in two to three weeks with additional measures, such as improved lighting implemented after that,” he said. 

Large numbers of people at the grave yard to check their family graves and inspect the Vandalism.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Large numbers of people at the grave yard to check their family graves and inspect the Vandalism.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“It’s a work in progress but last night was a positive first step,” Mr Gould added.

In the meantime, security is to remain in place at the cemetery. The Kilcully Action Group is set to have another meeting with the city council in a few weeks' time to ensure work is progressing. Members of the group staged a peaceful protest outside City Hall on Monday, in which they held a minute's silence for their loved ones at Kilcully. 

Representatives from the committee were invited to attend the local area meeting.

Monday’s outcome follows the public meeting last Sunday during which it was revealed that in February 2013, the city council passed a motion to appoint additional security features at four cemeteries in the city, including Kilcully, after a number of incidents took place.

On Tuesday Stephen Scully of City Hall's parks and recreation department issued a statement to The Echo saying:

“Following Council Meeting in February 2013, CCTV was installed at all four cemeteries at entrances, car park areas and other selected locations within the cemeteries. A voiceover and 24-hour monitoring was not deemed necessary and this has proved correct apart from the recent incident at Kilcully. We have conducted a review of the CCTV system at the cemetery and will be upgrading the system shortly and will improve the lighting further. We will also arrange a voice over facility with 24 hour monitoring The Gardai are following a definite line of inquiry in relation to the recent vandalism and it is unlikely that such an incident will occur again.”

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