Boat engines are stolen at Lough Mask sites
Crimes prompt calls for CCTV cameras
Three boat engines were stolen in the last two weeks from Cahir Pier and Burke’s Island on Lough Mask, close to Ballinrobe.
The engines, which can fetch up to €3,500, were all owned by local people. Two of the engines, were taken at popular visitors’ spot Cahir Pier, approximately three miles from the town, and the other was taken at Burke’s Island, which can be accessed by road.
World Cup Trout Fly Fishing Committee member Denis Kelleher appealed to anglers yesterday (Monday) to ensure their boat engines are secure and all belongings are taken from their boats.
Mr Kelleher described the thefts as a ‘sad kind of situation’.
“It’s prevalent around the country, and it has happened on Lough Corrib, but it’s the first time it’s happened here. It’s something I had hoped would stay away from the area,” said Mr Kelleher.
Mr Kelleher suggested that with one road in and out of both areas, a CCTV system should be looked at as a deterrent at the locations.
Following the recent installation of CCTV in Ballinrobe town, crime is reported to have fallen there by 90 percent. CCTV has also been installed at Cushlough, a part of Lough Mask where many boats are moored. “There haven’t been any thefts in Cushlough since CCTV was installed,” Mr Kelleher pointed out.
Speaking to The Mayo News about the issue, Fine Gael Cllr Michael Burke said that although it was something that could be looked at, he felt CCTV might not be the ideal remedy.
“You would need someone to manage it, and I’m not sure it could be linked up with the town’s system,” said Cllr Burke.
In relation to crime figures for the town, Cllr Burke said the CCTV had ‘really proved its worth’ and that the big issue now was extending it to housing estates.
The current system in Ballinrobe town, which cost €46,000, has been paid in full with the help of local fundraising, contributions from private organisations in the town and a contribution of €20,000 by Mayo County Council.
The Lough Mask incidents follow recent thefts from, and vandalising of, boats at Moorehall on the shores of Lough Carra. On August 13, The Mayo News reported that several boats there had been ‘tampered with, damaged and had material taken from them’.
A Lough Carra boat owner who contacted The Mayo News at the time also called for CCTV cameras where boats are moored. “This wave of crime has shocked us all and the local people of the area are deeply saddened by it too … There is major concern among owners that some of the damage caused could present risk-related problems when they go out on the lake. It is a very worrying time for all of us,” he said.