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Friday 23 February 2018

Two arrested over €70,000 machinery theft as farmer is reunited with his tractor

Eoghan MacConnell

Gardai are quizzing two men in connection with the theft of a tractor and trailer near Mountmellick, Co Laois in January.

The men, who are from West Clare, were arrested and are being questioned at Portlaoise Garda Station.

Gardai said further arrests are not being ruled out.

The tractor and trailer, with a combined value in the region of €70,000, were recovered a number of days ago and returned to its owner, Rory Doyle.

It's understood that a young man in Clare spotted the tractor being moved in convoy and alerted Gardai about it.

Rory Doyle’s red Massey Ferguson 6480 was stolen from a farm near Mountmellick along with a red Broughan grain trailer on the night of Friday, January 12.  

Following the theft, Rory, who put the combined value of the tractor and trailer in the region of between €70,000 and €80,000, issued an appeal for information helping to locate the stolen machinery.

“The gardai recovered it somewhere in Clare,” he revealed. “It’s great news,” the tillage farmer added.  

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Mr Doyle was extremely grateful to the gardai and thankful to neighbours, friends and all of the people across the country who had contacted him in the wake of the theft.

He said “the guards were very good. The guards get a bad press in this country but we can’t fault them at all. They were brilliant in Mountmellick." 

While thrilled to have his equipment back, Mr Doyle's attention has turned to security. “You would never in your wildest dreams think that someone would take your tractor and trailer,” he stated. “It is in the back of your mind, you would think, they could come,” said Mr Doyle. 

He urged others to follow his example and post stolen items on social media “as quick as possible” if they fall victim to a similar crime. “You never think it is going to come to your own farm but it does happen," Mr Doyle said.

Since being targeted by the crooks, Mr Doyle spends half an hour every evening locking up his farmyard. He is also looking at installing new gates, cameras and other security measures.


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