Carrick-on-Suir Town Council is joining Clonmel Borough Council in using covert CCTV cameras to clamp down on dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets poo in public areas of the town.
The Council has purchased two mobile CCTV cameras and one of the first littering problems they will be used to tackle in the town is the scourge of dog poo on footpaths, streets and walking routes.
It emerged at last week’s monthly meeting of the Town Council that even one of Carrick-on-Suir’s graveyards is being blighted by dog droppings.
The covert cameras were put into operation in the past week and Town Clerk Michael O’Brien warned that dog owners filmed failing to clean up after their dogs defecate will be prosecuted by the Council.
The Town Council’s elected members unanimously approved the local authority’s new policy on covert surveillance at their monthly meeting after Mr O’Brien informed them of the plans to use the mobile cameras to tackle the problem of dog fouling in the town as well as illegal dumping.
It followed hot on the heels of a similar covert surveillance campaign to tackle dog fouling announced at Clonmel Borough Council’s February meeting. .
Mr O’Brien invited councillors to notify the Town Council of any areas plagued by dog fouling and illegal dumping they felt required the cameras.
The councillors duly obliged.
Independent Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald complained that Carrickbeg was “scourged with dogs” and they were even defecating in the Friary Graveyard.
The sooner the Council got those cameras up and running the better, he declared.
Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin said the problem of dog fouling was getting worse and worse in the town.
The Independent councillor, who has a business on Main Street, said he had observed dog owners walking their dogs and allowing their pets to foul the footpaths at the same time every day.
He called for signs to be erected around the town, but particularly on Main Street warning dog owners it was an offence not to clean up after their pets and that penalties will be imposed.
He also called for the dog warden to be called in to check were dogs on the streets of the town licensed and requested that warning signs about illegal littering be erected around the town to deter rubbish dumping.
Fianna Fail Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan said the walkway along the Quay from Treacy Park to the Castle was also blighted by dog droppings despite the fact the Town Council had erected bins where pet owners can deposit the faeces.
While the Council had erected a bin across from Treacy Park and at the other end of the Quay, she suggested that a third bin should also be installed halfway along the walk.
She appealed to the Council to wash off the dog poo on the path along the Quays as it was a popular walking route.
Cllr Margaret Croke, meanwhile, tabled a motion at the meeting calling on the Council to also install bins for dog pooh in the Ballylynch estate because it had become a major issue with residents concerned about the public health risks it poses for children living there.
“Children walking out their front doors are walking straight into dog foul.
She also called for the dog warden to visit the area regularly.
Mr O’Brien responded that the bins were suitable for areas where people regularly took their dogs walking and could pick up their pet’s droppings and dispose of them. They were not appropriate for housing estates as the problem there tended to be with roaming dogs that were not supervised by their owners. He noted that it was generally people living in the estates who owned the offending dogs and they needed to take responsibility for their pet.
He pointed out that dog foul bins were only part of the solution to the problem.
Commenting on Cllr Cooney-Sheehan’s call for more bins, Mr O’Brien said inspections of the bins already in place indicated they were used so they were worth installing. But he surmised that many of the people using the bins had already been taking home their pets droppings before they were erected.
He concluded that at the end of the day, you could only do so much for people and you needed some co-operation from the public as well.
Responding to Cllr O’Loughlin, he said the Council would ask the dog warden to look at the situation in Carrick-on-Suir.