VIDEO: ‘It’s like a war zone out there’ - Farmers urged to ‘stand by their brothers’ during lively debate on rural crime at Ploughing Championships
FARMERS under threat from intruders and burglars have been told to “stand by their brothers, stand by their neighbours… because they’ll be there far quicker than the gardai will”.
The rallying call came from Seamus Sherlock of the ICSA during a debate on rural crime at the Irish Independent tent at the National Ploughing Championships.
He was joined by Laurence Ward, former IFA Dublin chairman who warned that farmers often felt too intimidated to report intruders or crimes to the authorities.
“They (the intruders) will say ‘If you call the guards we’ll burn down your hayshed, we’ll open all the gates and let the animals out on the road,” he said.
The debate was hosted by Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams who said that if faith in the police force wavered, then farmers would be tempted to take matters into their own hands.
A show of hands among the audience demonstrated that all would support somebody who defended their land or their person with a legally-held firearm.
The debate was sparked by the story of North Dublin farmer Patrick Walsh, who was viciously assaulted on his land by four men with lurcher dogs just weeks ago on All Ireland Sunday.
Mr Walsh, who bravely told his story to the Irish Independent last week, is recovering having suffered a dislocated shoulder, four cracked ribs as well as cuts and bruising that required six stitches.