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Talking with Market Cross management

Kilkenny, Ireland, Summer 2007 —

I spoke with Marian, assistant to Paddy Ryan, the manager of Market Cross Shopping Centre, on 7 June 2007, about the chaos into which this neighborhood has fallen.

I'd gone to Superquinn, a principal tenant of Market Cross, and the supermarket that is at ground level beneath my two-story apartment. The landlord of my place had said that it would be the management of Superquinn I'd want to see about the matter of installing CCTV cameras.

At Superquinn, a manager told me that I'd want to see somebody with Market Cross, of which Superquinn is a principal tenant. He made a phone call, and received a promise that somebody would call me in the next half-hour. I walked back home, just up Chapel Lane and around the corner, and by the time I got upstairs, Marian called me. She's an assistant to Paddy Ryan, the head manager of the shopping center. Marian asked me if I was home, and would I meet her in the laneway, which I did.

It was fortunate for my case that there'd been fresh vandalism to the Market Cross property. Several of the false windows there on Chapel lane had been smashed.

I raised the matter of CCTV cameras. We'd get back to that.

Marian assured me that Market Cross was working on the matters of the carry-on within the neighborhood. She told me that they were trying to get the city government to compel the owners of the row of four derelict houses on Chapel Lane to clean those houses up.

[The matter of the vacant units is a problem for several reasons — besides that of empty housing units in a city hungry for them. These places are, in the case of the local kids, an attractive nuisance; they've been at least twice broken into by kids for no-good reasons. Also, the small front porches of these units, convenient places to sit, attract the good and the bad alike. When the kids who like trouble congregate, the trouble is just waiting to happen.

Marian mentioned asking the city to declare something like a "derelict building order." This would compel the landowners to repair the property — to prepare it for occupation.

As we got back to the subject of the CCTV, Marian told me something hopeful — she said that the corporation, or city goverment, is prepared to install one camera for the sake of monitoring the illegal-dumping problem (another issue in this part of town, back here out of sight.)

The condition of the city would be that Market Cross take the duty of monitoring the camera feed. Market Cross has an existing system, extant within the bounds of the complex itself, whereas the city currently has neither the infrastructure nor the administrative structure to monitor nor agglomerate video feed.

I told Marian that I would like to see three cameras. Naturally, I understood that these devices are expensive. But that's my preference, and one I hope to advocate.

Marian told me that she would contact City Hall in order to establish the name of one contact, a person to whom we could speak — myself, the representatives of Market Cross, the residents of the neighborhood, and landlords of same.

She told me that, now having her number, I was welcome to contact her about any further matter of concern.