The issue of monitoring of CCTV in Castlebar was a hot topic of discussion at the latest meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District.
Cllr Michael Kilcoyne kick-started the debate by asking about the monitoring of the CCTV beside Scoil Raifteirí in the town, and was told by Marie Crowley - head of the district for the council, that it was her understanding that it was part of the global CCTV system in the town and was monitored by the Gardai.
However, both Cllr Ger Deere and Cllr Martin McLoughlin both told the meeting that they were informed in a recent meeting with business people in the town and the gardai, that it was not monitored on a full time basis. Cllr Deere said that while the footage was part of the system in the Garda station, it wasn't being monitored all the time.
Cllr Kilcoyne said he was shocked to hear this and recalled, in the old town council, the elected members had been brought up to the station and were shown the room with 14 or 15 screens and all the CCTV cameras on them.
Cllr McLoughlin suggested there may have been changes made to how it was monitored due to data protection laws - to which Cllr Kilcoyne responded that data protection was 'a line put out there when someone didn't want to tell somebody information'.
Cllr Deere said that the situation would have to be discussed at the first meeting of the Joint Policing Committee of the council in September, while Cllr McLoughlin said that the councillors needed to know was it being monitored - the public needed to know.