Tensions mounts over CCTV in Kilmore Quay

LOCAL OBJECTION PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED

Conor CULLEN

THE SEA FISHERIES Protection Authority (SFPA) has been granted planning permission for CCTV cameras at Kilmore Quay, despite a huge number of local objections.

The SFPA applied to Wexford County Council for seven CCTV cameras, erected on three separate nine-metre poles at Kilmore Quay harbour, on August 10 last, which led to objections from almost 300 local people.

However, last Wednesday, September 30, Wexford County Council approved the plans for the CCTV cameras, a decision which now seems certain to be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

The cameras are to be mounted on three separate nine-metre poles, situated at strategic points along the harbour at Kilmore Quay, in what the SFPA have said is a further effort to detect illegal fishing activity.

The planning application was a move that only further heightened existing tensions between the SFPA and the local fishing community, which feels they are being regulated out of existence.

The application for CCTV cameras followed the SFPA's decision to rent office space from Wexford County Council at Kilmore Quay.

Local objectors condemned the application for the CCTV cameras on many grounds, including that they would blight the landscape, constitute an invasion of privacy and contribute to the over-regulation of a struggling industry.

The SFPA issued a statement to the Wexford People, which said that CCTV systems would enable to to carry out its role in a more efficient manner.

' Compliant fishermen have nothing to fear from such installations and everything to gain from the deterrence and detection of any illegal fishing,' said the statement.

' This monitoring to an extreme level borders on an invasion of privacy,' Cllr Jim Moore, Vice Chairman of Wexford County Council said yesterday (Tuesday).