Farmer 'under siege' after four years of vandalism

Attacks on machinery and tractors have cost Clare farmer €25,000

There has been an attempted arson of a hay field.
There has been an attempted arson of a hay field.
Machinery has been the subject of acid attacks.
Tyres have been slashed in some of the incidents of vandalism.

Dan Danaher

A Killaloe farmer believes he is "under siege", from a sustained vandalism campaign which he estimates has caused €25,000 of damages on his farm over a four-year period.

Michael Scanlan, Garraunboy, Killaloe, Co Clare has decided to speak publicly about his ordeal in the hope that the on-off cycle of malicious damage on his property will finally cease.

In addition to over 15 serious incidents of alleged criminal damage, at least 100 punctures have had to be repaired and four tyres replaced.

Mr Scanlan is baffled as to why he has become the target of such a malicious and sustained campaign of vandalism.

"I have never interfered with anyone in my life," says the 53-year-old father of three.

"This vandalism is causing huge stress for me and my family. I just want it to stop at this stage. It has gone on far too long," he added.

Killaloe Gardaí are continuing their investigations into the incidents.

While two individuals were questioned about the vandalism, no one has been charged to date.

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The first attack on the Scanlan farm occurred in January 2010 when the tyres on a New Holland tractor and two slurry tanks were slashed.

Sand was poured into the gearbox of New Holland tractor, wires were cut on the tractor and acid was put in the diesel tank.

Three vehicles on the farm were destroyed with acid. Iron bars were cut up and put in the gearbox of the slurry tank.

Eighteen months later, wheel studs were loosened on the New Holland tractor and bolts taken off the hitch of another tractor.

A month later, July 2011, a silage harvester was written off when iron bars were planted in silage fields.

The following month, wheel studs were taken from a tractor wheel. Nails were also scattered on the avenue leading to the family home.

The attacks extended outside the farm when a tyre was cut on a car belonging to the Scanlons in Killaloe in November 2011.

Back on the farm, approximately €1,500 of diesel was lost in February, 2012 when a hole was drilled in a diesel bulk tank.

Twenty trees on the farm were sprayed with weed killer in May 2012

More iron bars including re-bar and RSJ offcuts were found in silage fields in July 2012.

A rope was cut, a gate was opened and cattle were let out onto road in November 2012.

Nails were driven into the wheels of a tractor in June 2013 and the tyres were slashed a month later.

Two weeks later, a water pipe was cut off to cattle.

The latest incident took place last month. One of Mr Scanlan's tractors was parked up in a field ready for baling when its tyres were slashed and the drive shaft stolen. An attempt was also made to burn hay in the field.

Anyone with information that may assist the Garda investigation should contact Killaloe Garda Station on 061 376242.

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