Older farmers are more likely to feel unsafe, the survey found, with 18pc of those over 65 years of age saying they don’t feel safe in their home. In contrast, just 1pc of those 18-34 years of age said they feel unsafe.
They were also more likely to try defend themselves than younger farmers – 47pc of 18-34 year olds said they would call the Gardai.
“He would not be walking out,” one respondent said, while another was more tempered and said they’d “Use the gun as a last resort”. However, most were of the “Point the gun and shoot. Ask questions later” attitude.
A numbers of farmers said they had experience of using their gun during an incident of farm theft on their property.
The sentiment among respondents was most apparent among older respondents, with “At my age I couldn’t do much”, being a common response.
Others said their proximity to Garda stations was another issue. “I am 10 miles from a Garda station…would the intruder wait?”
And others called for the re-establishment of rural Garda Stations – “Rural Gardai should be brought back,” while another said “(I have) No faith in Gardai at the moment”.
ICMSA President John Comer said people living in rural areas simply don’t accept that the Gardai are in a position to offer them protection as fast as the situation might warrant.
"There are massive areas of the state where even if you ring the Gardai to report suspicious activity or an actual robbery happening ‘there and then’, they’re just not in a position to get out to you for 30 or 40 minutes or longer. What are people meant to do in those circumstances?"
The survey also found that 78pc of respondents said everyone should pay for water, with Fianna Fail farmer supporters also in favour of water charges.
Fine Gael’s support among farmers is still strong, with 32pc saying they would vote for Enda Kenny’s party. Fianna Fail also garner strong support among the farming community, with 25pc of the vote, however 22pc of those interviewed said they did not know how they would vote if a general election was held.
However, there is a stark contrast between different age groups, with 55pc of 18-34 year olds saying they do not go to mass/church every week, compared to 81pc of those over 65 years old who say they do.
Fine Gael voters were more likely to go (67pc) than Fianna Fail (60pc) voters.
Farmers overwhelmingly back water charges new poll shows
Farmers' views are increasingly at odds with developments on water charging as they overwhelmingly believe that everyone should have to pay for water.
An exclusive survey of over 1,000 farmers comes following months of debates in Leinster house on the issue, leading finally to a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail on the issue that should see 92pc of households pay nothing for water.
Of the respondents, 78pc said that everybody should pay for water, while 20pc said that people should not have to pay for water and 2pc were undecided.
Regionally, 84pc of farmers in the South said that everyone should have to pay for water compared to 74pc in the rest of the country.
Politically, 85pc of those who voted for Fine Gael said everyone should pay for water, while 72pc of Fianna Fail supporters agreed everyone should pay for water.
However, sentiment around water charges was very strong. “We’re paying all our lives. It’s like putting petrol in a car,” said one farmer who supported water charges.
However, another said: “Water comes from God, so we should not have to pay for it” and another agreed: “It falls from the sky, so it should be free.”
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