Garda chief has promised new national unit to target farmland trespassers - IFA
IFA crime prevention officer met with Garda Commissioner
A special patrol unit is being set up by An Garda Síochána nationally to deal with trespassers who illegally hunt on farm land, said the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA).
The organisation's crime prevention officer Barry Carey said it was given the commitment by the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in a recent meeting where the issue of illegally hunting lands was discussed.
It comes as landowners across the country - particularly in north Dublin and north Kerry - noticed an increase in people on their lands hunting hares and killing sheep since last year.
The rural populations affected, who often live in isolated areas, also worry that these same individuals are casing their homes and farms.
At a recent meeting on the issue in Kerry, one incident was highlighted where a man reportedly saw 16 individuals with dogs hunting in a field.
A further case of a man in his late 70s not being able to sleep at night due to the worry of intruders was also highlighted. The same man had some of his sheep killed by dogs brought to his land.
In September, a Dublin farmer suffered a violent attack when he confronted a number of men who were trespassing on his land.
Father-of-three Pat Walsh (47), from Lispopple, Swords, suffered four cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder and needed stitches to his face after he was kicked repeatedly on the ground.