McNally advocates hidden cameras to curb outbreaks of illegal dumping

6 May 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Fianna Fáil’s Pádraig McNally moved a motion at Tuesday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council advocating the deployment of mobile hidden cameras to curb outbreaks of illegal dumping that were taking place across the county.
Proposing that the Monaghan authority follow the lead of Kerry Co Council in putting hidden cameras in areas subject to illegal dumping, the South Monaghan representative described the amount of illegal dumping that was going on in Co Monaghan as “alarming”.
He said that such activities had a “magnet effect”, as any incident of illegal dumping that took place in a particular location automatically attracted others. While he had seen black bags of rubbish discarded on the N2, he acknowledged that the activity mostly took place in quiet areas of the countryside and along quiet country roads.
He thought part of the solution would be to have fines that were so heavy that no one would risk being caught. There had to be a huge disincentive in terms of the monetary fine.
Stating that he had read recently of the Kerry Co Council initiative, Colr McNally said that they were purchasing a number of small, discreet mobile cameras that they would move around on a regular basis and create a fear in the mindset of those carrying out the dumping.
Fine Gael representative Aidan Murray, seconding the motion, acknowledged that this was a huge issue throughout the county. He thought the Co Council should be able to publish a list of those who were fined for this activity, and they should see if they could overcome the current impediments in this regard.
He thought the Council should also recognise the high level of voluntary effort that went into picking up litter in the county.
P J O’Hanlon (FF) expressed the view that if the Council had appropriate fines in place, the cameras would pay for themselves. He complimented Colr McNally on his motion, describing it as one of the best that had been brought before the Council for quite a while.
Sinn Féin’s Brian McKenna said he would like to know what the cost factor of the proposal would be for the Co Council. While illegal dumping was bad enough, the amount of litter dumped out of cars along the side of the road was just unbelievable, he stated.
“Some of our roads are in an outrageous state at the present time because of this activity,” Colr McKenna remarked.
FF’s John O’Brien, supporting the motion, pointed out that Dublin City Council engaged the services of a company in their area from whom they hired such cameras. The company took charge of placing such cameras and producing the information from them that the local authority could use to embark on prosecutions.
Independent councillor Seamus Treanor highlighted dumping of litter from cars at the McNally’s Yard car park in Monaghan Town, and the dumping of bottles into the stretch of the Ulster Canal in the town. He said that such activity started on a small scale but quickly escalated if steps weren’t taken to curb it.
Colr Treanor thought that litter wardens or cameras should be deployed to deal with these problems in Monaghan Town. “The county is a disgrace at this moment in time with litter,” he declared.
Colr McNally thought that there might be a Monaghan company that would install the cameras on a temporary basis for the Council and police their operation.
He also requested that the Co Council correspond with refuse collectors in the county to establish whether there had been a significant fall-off in the use of their services or in the purchase of refuse bags.

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