by Martina Nee
A city councillor has called for CCTV to be put in place in Bowling Green a residential area which has been used as a “public urinal” and has been targetted by squatters.
Labour Cllr Nuala Nolan raised the issue at this week’s meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee where members discussed the crime statistics for 2013.
Cllr Nolan reminded members, “Over a year ago this council passed a motion to have CCTV in Bowling Green. The residents met and were told by gardai the money, estimated to be €3,000, was not there. It’s being used as a public urinal especially during the festival season. There are squatters in a derelict house who have set up an illegal ESB connection. There have been break-ins. The residents, some of whom are elderly, deserve better and to made to feel safe and secure. People deserve to have CCTV for the sake of €3,000. When squatters move into a house, whose responsibilty is it to follow this up? It seems to be no man’s land. It seems unbelievable that they can connect to the ESB in the city in such a sophisticated way.”
Chief superintendent for the Galway Garda Division Tom Curley advised that “there are no finances available for CCTV in the Garda community relations funding” and that the only schemes to have been progressed lately have been ones financed by the Galway County Council. “It’s an issue of funding. When there are squatters, we have to prove ownership of the building, take a statement from the owner, and then proceed with prosecution,” he said.