Call for action as property stolen from farmers 'while they sleep'
'The closure of rural Garda stations has been very difficult for communities around Ireland'
The Minister for Justice and Equality has been called on to urgently outline her plans to combat increased thefts from farms.
Making the call, Independent Senator Ronan Mullen, said farmers have been making the best of this weather by spreading slurry and doing all sorts of cutting and other general maintenance on their land.
However, he says some are waking up to find that their machinery, equipment or livestock have been stolen from their yards or fields while they slept.
“Official figures indicate that burglaries on farmland fell 14pc in 2016 on the corresponding figure for 2015, but each week that passes this year there are news reports of farmers being robbed of their possessions.
“In the past few months, tractors have been stolen from yards across the country, cattle and sheep rustled and vehicles and tools taken,” he said.
Mullen highlighted recent incidents which saw a quad bike and trailer were taken from a dairy farmer in Co. Waterford and that four miniature ponies worth €4,000 were stolen from fields in Co. Leitrim. While on St. Patrick's Day, a tractor worth about €30,000 was taken from a farm in Co. Carlow at 7.30pm.
“It has been claimed that drones are being used to spy on farms, some of which are very easy targets if they are located near good road networks.