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Tuesday 25 September 2018

Offaly farmer savagely beaten by a gang still hasn't returned home

The entrance to Richard McKelvey's farm Co. Offaly Photo: Colin O'Riordain
The entrance to Richard McKelvey's farm Co. Offaly Photo: Colin O'Riordain

Eoghan MacConnell

A farmer who was savagely beaten by a gang of men at his rural home has yet to return home but visits daily to run his Co Offaly drystock farm.

Bachelor Richie McKelvey was hospitalised in the attack and his sheepdog was also beaten by the intruders who hit him over the head with a bar, tied him up and left him in a shed at his remote farm at Brosna near Birr in early November.

Speaking ahead of a crime prevention meeting in Lanesborough on the Roscommon Longford border, Mr McKelvey’s sister Annette Meacle said “he is getting on with it now as best he can.”  She said he brother was doing alright and “he goes back every day” to the farm.  

Mrs Meacle was the special guest at the crime prevention meeting, where she said she “highlight what can happen” in rural Ireland. She believes criminals operating in rural Ireland are “much more ruthless” now than they once were. 

Mrs Meacle believes communities and gardai didn’t evolve at the same speed as criminality in rural Ireland did.

“We just didn’t cop on to it in rural Ireland and the gangs actually outpaced everybody in terms of the kind of diligent work they put into committing crime,” Mrs McKelvey remarked.

Annette Meacle sister of Richie McKelvie, pictured at the entrance to his farm at Coolderry/Kilcolman, Co. Offaly.
PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
Annette Meacle sister of Richie McKelvie, pictured at the entrance to his farm at Coolderry/Kilcolman, Co. Offaly. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN

Gardai are battling to curb a renewed blitz of rural burglaries conducted by Dublin-based crime gangs.

A notorious Limerick gang is believed to have been involved in the brutal aggravated burglary of the 54-year-old Offaly farmer.

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During the burglary, carried out by a four-member gang with distinctive Munster accents, the raiders beat the farmer’s dog until the terrified animal fled the farmhouse.

The farmer was then himself beaten with an iron bar before being dragged out to the farmyard and locked in a shed.

Cork farmhouse attack

Meanwhile Gardai continue to appeal for information on an attack on a 91-year-old man at a rural farmhouse in Grenagh in Cork which they have described as a particularly "heinous and reprehensible" crime.

Gardaí have issued an appeal to the public to help trace the burglar. The incident took place between 9.30am and 11am on Sunday, January 14, in the townland of Ballyvaloon, approximately 10km from Blarney and 3km from Grenagh village. 

It is understood that a lone male broke into the house through a rear window and assaulted the sole occupant, a 91-year-old man, before making off with a sum of cash. 

The attacker is believed to be a heavy-set male, around 5'10" to 5'11 in height and wearing dark coloured clothing and footwear.

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