'Our grandparents who worked on the land for years are living in fear of being murdered in their beds'
Elderly people in rural Ireland are living in fear of being murdered in their beds, a discussion on rural crime heard at the Ploughing today.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) Chairman Seamus Sherlock told the Independent.ie talk that 60pc of farmers have been affected by rural crime and that 40pc have had more than one crime take place on their farm.
He said that a lot of elderly people are living in absolute fear. "They are petrified they will be murdered in their own home.
"They're our grandparents who worked on the land for years and now they are living in fear."
He also said that people in rural Ireland are afraid to walk into their neighbour's yard, afraid they'd be mistaken for a burgular. However, he said that rural Ireland will never get back to the days of the local Garda living close.
IFA Treasurer Jer Bergin said people should not be in living in fear, but should be protected.
"The answer is not to turn Ireland into some sort of prison camp. This is gangland crime too, it's organised with a market at the end."
Eliminating a market for stolen goods, he said, would help put a stop to crime. "If that market is gone it would be a lot harder for those people to operate."