independent

Sunday 21 September 2014

Joe's boat business ruined by thieves

Fintan Lambe

Published 09/08/2014 | 00:00

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Joe Byrne's boat,The Puffin, which was raided.

'WHEN they got to The Puffin, it was like the motherload. I lost 13 rods, 13 reels, spare reels, handheld electronics, radios, even a box of lead weights. Nothing was left. They even set off the fire extinguishers,' he said.

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'They broke the locks, and broke the sounder. It's a write-off,' he continued, estimating the cost of losses at thousands of euro, on top of the loss of business through cancelled fishing trips.

He said that he can't see himself restarting the charter business. 'I'm not working morning, noon, and night for freeloaders who haven't done a day's work in their life to come in and do this,' he vented. 'I'm finished for all time. They're scumbags. It's a disgrace.

'This is a man's livelihood that they've taken,' he continued. 'This harbour has had enough. There's hardly anyone in the harbour that hasn't been robbed.'

Joe has been involved in the fishing charter business for the past six years, providing a popular service for visitors and locals. He is also one of Ireland's leading anglers, having represented his country in international competitions.

'You just would have no heart to continue,' he added. 'If you re-stocked the boat, they'd do it all again in a month. People can't be working from morning to night for these scum to come in and take it all. The more you try, the bigger kick in the teeth you get.'

He said the thieves would have needed a van to take all the equipment away. Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to contact gardaí.

Gorey Guardian

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