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‘Rumour’ dismissed about changing room camera

A councillor has dismissed a ‘rumour’ that a small camera found dumped beside bins at the Loughrea Lake was used inside the changing rooms.

Fine Gael Councillor Michael ‘Moegie’ Maher said he had been contacted by national newspapers over an allegation that the camera had been used to take a picture inside the male changing rooms and then shared online.

The Fine Gael representative raised the issue at this week’s Loughrea Municipal District meeting, urging Galway County Council officials to put the rumours to bed.

“That wasn’t a ‘Peeping Tom’ scenario. The camera wasn’t used. The amount of scaremongering that’s going on in the town – people are afraid to come into Loughrea. They think somebody is watching them changing their clothes.”

Cllr Martina Kinane (FF) said she had also fielded queries over the allegation.

“As a woman, as a mother, or as anybody, I would be concerned. This is where rumours come from – we need to quash it.”

Area Engineer Gerard Haugh confirmed to the meeting that a camera had been discovered at Long Point

“I’d be doubtful it was as described in public commentary. It is with An Garda Síochána so there’ll be no further comment.”

Cllr Maher later told the Connacht Tribune that he understood the camera was similar to one cyclists use on helmets or by swimmers to capture underwater scenes.

It was found beside the bins in the women’s changing rooms and handed to Council staff at the Blue Flag Lake who in turn gave it to Loughrea Gardaí to determine if there was anything sinister at play.

“It wasn’t working, it wasn’t taking any footage from what I hear. My feeling is this was an unused camera that was thrown away and instead it fell on the floor. Whoever found it, put one and one together and got four. They put it up on Facebook and rumours have been spreading like wildfire since.

“I raised it because I wanted the Council to dampen down the rumour because people will get too afraid to go to the Long Point.”

A spokesperson for Galway County Council also believed there was nothing sinister behind the discovery.

“It doesn’t add up. If it was intended to take secret footage, I don’t think you’d put it beside a bin that’s emptied twice a day. It certainly wasn’t covert.”

A statement from Garda headquarters confirmed that Loughrea Gardaí were conducting enquiries “following a reported incident in Loughrea”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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