24-hour cameras to stop vandals at city cemeteries

Round-the-clock surveillance cameras will be installed at four cemeteries across Cork City within weeks after a spate of vandal attacks.

The 24-hour monitoring systems at the city-council managed burial grounds will be backed up by mobile patrols which will be able to respond to any major incidents of antisocial behaviour.

The move was welcomed last night by Cllr Mick Finn (Ind).

He was among several city councillors who raised concerns in City Hall last month after an attack in St Joseph’s Cemetery in Ballyphehane over Christmas.

A gang rampaged through the burial ground and desecrated up to 60 graves and headstones.

Councillors described it as a very upsetting incident, but said antisocial behaviour is now a major problem in several city cemeteries, with gangs using them for late-night drinking parties.

Cllr Finn was among those who suggested locking cemetery gates at night to deter this activity. But council officials said labour costs associated with additional closures of public spaces were “prohibitive”.

“I have been told that the installation of CCTV cameras with voiceover and 24-hour monitoring technology is being advanced and should be in place within eight weeks,” Mr Finn said.

“Cameras will be positioned at the entrance gates and other selected areas within the cemeteries which will act as a deterrent to unsocial activities.”

Cllr Finn said that while he had hoped for gate closures, the CCTV initiative must be applauded. “I would like to praise the council’s environment directorate for acting decisively on this.”

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