Have the copper bandits returned to Fanad?

first_imgAfter eir subscribers were left without a landline service in the Fanad area for almost a week the company has denied that 200 metres of cable had been stolen.A spokeswoman for eir said they were made aware of a ‘fault’ on Friday and immediately order a new cable to replace a faulty one.However, local consumers say they reported the problem to the company early on Wednesday morning and were given confirmation later that their call had been logged and was being dealt with in a two day period. Subsequent calls to the company followed until the service was finally restored on Monday afternoon – more than five days after local subscribers noted their was no service on their landlines.Concerns were raised with the Gardai after a commercial vehicle was seen leaving the location of the phone lines in the townland of Shannagh at 11.50pm on Tuesday night of last week.The incident was reported to Gardai at Milford at 12.15 am on Wednesday, November 1st.The phone service was eventually restored and the missing cable replaced on Monday afternoon – some five and a half days after the lines went dead in the Fanad Head area. As the local community came to see the scene, the local presumption was that the copper bandits had returned to Fanad once again after an absence of four years.An eir spokeswoman at their Dublin Press Centre told the Tribune “We followed up with the local networks team and they have no knowledge of stolen cable at this location.“We did have a cable fault at that location which necessitated a section of cable to be replaced. This work was completed on 6th Nov.“Our technicians in Donegal were on site in Fanad as quickly as possible to make safe the area, to inspect the damage, to order replacement cable and then to install the replacement cable and to ensure service was restored. I am very sorry that customers in the area were without service for a number of days but I can assure you that the local eir team worked as quickly as possible to restore service.”However, subscribers affected by the loss of service dispute the comments from eir and say they became aware in midweek that the phone lines straddling five poles had disappeared. Copper bandits in recent years had created havoc as miles of copper phone cables were stolen over a lengthy period and the practice stopped around four years ago. In September 2013. Eircom staff said that in the most recent raid at a number of different locations in the Milford area more than €10,000 of cabling was been stolen in biggest raid to date.The thefts took place at four different locations, In what is one of the most serious attack ever on the communications system in Donegal, cable worth more than €10,000 was taken on the Milford to Carrigart road at four different locations.The robbery was the latest but most serious incident, which has seen copper cabling stolen on at least a dozen different occasions over the past four years.Eircom engineers told the Tirconail Tribune that sophisticated cutting equipment would have taken hours to cut down the cabling. In one instance close to Cranford some 500 metres was taken: further down the road 250 metres were cut out and a stay across the road to stabilise the system was also slashed to pieces in what is described as a highly dangerous operation for any passing motorists.Elsewhere near a Filling Station at Devlinreagh a further 100 metres was removed while close to the junction with the road into the Harry Blaney Bridge a further 150 metres was taken.Eircom officials say this was the most serious incident yet and phone subscribers are struggling in many isolated areas to keep in touch with their families.There had been a noted decline in cable theft but this returned in July with another spate of robberies.A total of 1,500 metres of cable was taken during different raids at a number of locations including, Fanad, Drumbarnett, Glenveagh, Drumkeen, Mongorry Hill and Rahan on the outskirts of Letterkenny.Only a year earlier the copper bandits struck three times in four daysin the community in Fanad.While it was claimed there was an active Garda operation ongoing, thepublic seems not to be aware of this and the thefts continued unabated.And the latest ‘outage’ in Fanad where the phone lines suspended to five poles were absent led to local suspicions that the copper bandits had returned.However eir says this is not so and the problem was due to ‘a fault’.Have the copper bandits returned to Fanad? was last modified: November 10th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:copper banditsdonegaleirFanadGardailast_img read more