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"The Heart of Kilkenny" timeline

Part of an ongoing attempt to create a narrative line about the recent episodes in my neighborhood here in Kilkenny.

The scoop

In the early months of 2007, teenagers broke into vacant houses across the laneway from my apartment here in Kilkenny Ireland.

This neighborhood had been already the scene of plenty of youthful mischief, as it is a popular out-of-the way spot here in the heart of the town....

• 27 May Spoke with Garda Kinsella and one other policeman, and on the 28th filed a formal complaint at the garda barracks, outlining the
harrassment that I'd been getting from neighborhood youth.

• On the advice of Sean Kenny, a dignified senior neighbor, I spoke with the Mayor, on Friday, June 1. The Mayor, Martin Brett, expressed his disturbance at the descriptions that I gave of vandalism, taunting, and the group of kids I'd seen tape another one up, head-to-foot, the day previous.

He said "leave it with me" — a common Irish expression meaning "I'll work on it." He said that he might encourage increased garda presence in the area — but he did say that unless we can identify anybody, there's little we can do.

• I went to the engineering department of city hall, sometime within the next few days. At engineering, a fellow told me that the corporation, or city government, will not put up CCTV cameras, because they do not do that. (If they tried to satisfy all requests, they'd be busy at it.)

• I called the Landlord. I mentioned the idea of CCTV. He told me that that matter was the responsibility of Superquinn — the Market Cross tenant which occupies the lower floor of the whole area along this part of Chapel Lane, and across to James' Street the whole rear of the complex. (My apartment is built atop the backside of Market Cross, as are several others.)

The landlord, however, did refer to Superquinn as "Supervalu," another brand of grocery store here in Ireland — encouraging me to believe what I already suspected; that he didn't know what he was talking about.

• On the 6th of June, I did go to Superquinn, where a manager refered me to Marian, the assistant to Paddy Ryan, the manager of the Market Cross complex.

We discussed CCTV, as well as the prospect of contending with a row of four empty derelict houses across Chapel Lane from my place.

• Later in the day, I spoke with the neighbor across the terrace who owns his place. He told me — significantly — that the area between the city wall and the back of Market Cross is in fact not public property.

• 7 June, I met up with Sean Kenny on Chapel Lane. He asked me how I'd gotten on with the mayor. I told him a bit. I told him, mostly, that unless we can identify somebody in the act, we can't do much — and I told him of my encounter the previous day with Marian of Market Cross.

Mr. Kenny told me about a fellow who was going to visit up here; a councillor with both the corporation (city,) and the county of Kilkenny. Mr. Kenny said he'd contact me to let me know when this visit would happen. He also said that he wants us to put together a delegation of four to six representatives of the neighborhood, and for us to attend a meeting of the city council — and for us all to visit the garda station for a conversation with the police command. I said I was on for that.

• 14 June 2007 — "Thanks, Stephen," I said to my neighbor as we passed on the way. "I'll chase them the rest of the way out." ...

Pepper-oil deterrent to kids sitting on some favorite steps.... — 7 July 2007


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