Thieves targeting farmyards for scrap
Thieves are increasingly targeting farms for manhole covers, machinery, and metal fixings.
Now farmers want garda officers posted at recycling centres to prevent thieves from selling on stolen metals.
Last night, the president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Jackie Cahill, said farmers across the country were suffering from the activities of roaming thieves.
Mr Cahill said the ICMSA was bombarded by complaints from farmers about "wholesale pillaging" of their property.
Farmers say expensive machinery, gates, metal fixings and manhole covers have all been stolen and sold on to recycling centres by the thieves.
"We have groups arriving in vans and proceeding to steal whatever they want or whatever they estimate they'll be able to sell on," Mr Cahill said.
Gardai have acknowledged that there has been an increase in recent months in reported thefts from farmyards and materials that can be sold for scrap.