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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
February 14, 2019


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National Bird of Prey Centre strengthens more than just security with donated video surveillance system

A video surveillance system donated to a bird-of-prey sanctuary is a boon to its breeding programme as well as its security.

Round-the-clock video monitoring can notify staff when narrow windows of opportunity for artificial insemination open up out of normal working hours, while cameras have also kept a watchful eye on a baby falcon during its critical early days.

Security distributor Anixter, camera manufacturer Axis Communications and local integrator Evolution provided the security system pro bono in a six-month project at the National Bird of Prey Centre in Ireland.

The project was conceived when Anixter vice president of sales Brendan McDonald visited the centre in 2017 for a ‘Hawk Walk Experience’ bought for his birthday by his wife. Discovering the centre couldn’t afford a modern video surveillance system he resolved to help them out.

“It shows how companies and individuals can pool resources and work together to make a real difference in our communities.” Brendan McDonald, Anixter

From left to right: Stephen Cullen (Anixter), Mark Corrigan (Evolution), Brendan McDonald (Anixter), Tom Byrne (National Bird of Prey Centre), Peter Dempsey (Axis) and his son, Kayden


“After realising it was a genuine offer, I was absolutely floored by the generosity,” said co-founder Tom Byrne, who admitted initial scepticism that it would happen.

“What’s great about this project is it shows how companies and individuals can pool resources and work together to make a real difference in our communities,” said Brendan McDonald. “There are so many not-for-profit organisations that can benefit from local, proactive assistance and community involvement.”


Said Peter Dempsey, Irish key account manager for Axis: “Being able to help the centre aligned with what Axis values as a company. We could see the merit in what they were trying to do and the impact the centre had on the community, so it was really a no-brainer for us to get involved.”

The system has already provided round-the-clock monitoring during an ultimately successful attempt to artificially inseminate falcons. National Bird of Prey Centre co-founder Tom Byrne could be be notified if the five-hour window for fertilising eggs occurred outside of working hours.

The new cameras also monitored a baby Lanner falcon – named Alfie Anixter – during its critical early days. “We all look forward to watching Alfie grow up and develop his hunting skills,” said McDonald.

Evolution designed, installed and tested the system, which included eight security cameras and a recorder from Axis and Panduit external-grade cabling, patch panels, a wire rack for terminated cables and monitors for visitors to view the video stream.

“We were delighted to be involved with this project,” said Mark Corrigan, country manager, Ireland, for Evolution. “It’s a great experience to be able to use your skills and knowledge to help educate children and enrich the community all while giving back to a fantastic not-for-profit.”

The National Bird of Prey Centre is an outdoor educational facility set within the grounds of Russborough House, which was built between 1741-1750. Visitors can request a personal guided tour and experience close encounters with various species of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

Anixter (stand IF930) and Axis Communications (stand IF920) are exhibiting at IFSEC International 2019, taking place 18-20 June 2019 at ExCeL London. Book your free ticket now.

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