Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Calls for more Garda resources as farm contractor attacked with wheel brace

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Calls have been made for more resources to be given to the Gardai, by Sinn Fein Deputy Peadar Toibin.

He has highlighted a recent cast of a farming contractor in Meath which he says has had €12,000 worth of tractor parts stolen from his yard in the past year.

Toibin said the contractor recently came across the thieves raiding his property. When disturbed, Tobin said they came at the contractor with a ‘wheel brace’.

“There is a serious problem developing in towns around the country. Significant areas within and out of towns are being ceded to thugs, to crime and to drug dealers,” Toibin said.

“We know that Gardaí are fiercely frustrated about their working environment.

“Morale is at an all-time low due to the scandals with regard to the Garda management failings and the abdication of responsibility and oversight by the Government.

“The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has said that we are now witnessing the human impact of seven years of austerity. The Garda Inspectorate report uncovered serious, systemic weaknesses in An Garda Síochána.

“I have come to the view that at this stage there is nearly a tolerable level of crime, thuggery, drug dealing and alcohol abuse in our public spaces.

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“There is a danger that if I raise these issues I will be blamed by some people for blackening my own county.

“The situation needs to be fixed and it can be fixed,” he said.

It comes as the amount of thefts taking place on farms across the county and in neighbouring rural areas, has been recently called a disgrace by a Wicklow farmer following the theft of €3,500 worth of equipment from a relative's farm.

Kevin Moore from Grangecon made the comments in the Wicklow People where he launched an appeal for the return of his brother-in-law's trailer and farm gates which were stolen on May 22 when thieves broke locks to gain entry after dark.

Since the theft, Kevin and his relatives have made endless efforts to track down the items to no avail.

"Since this happened we have travelled hundreds of kilometres to Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow but we haven't seen any trace of it," he said.

Moore claimed that farmers all over Wicklow and the entire country are being targeted by criminals who are getting away with their crimes.

"It is a complete joke and it is happening every day of the week. Some time ago we followed some lads from our farm as far as Athy where they were intercepted by the Gardaí and it turned out they were from Limerick. They were questioned and let off again.

"When larger machinery such as tractors are stolen and taken to the UK on the ferry, nobody has to produce any paperwork for them so they get away with it," Kevin said.

Moore also said his own farm has been targeted by thieves twice in the past while his brother-in-law and owner of the recently stolen trailer and gates, was robbed 18 months ago and lost "every farm tool he had, sheep shearing equipment and a motocross bike", none of which were ever recovered.

The Gardaí in Baltinglass say that they have had reports of a number of thefts from farms across the county since the start of the year and that incidents do not appear to be confined to a single area.

Incidents recorded include the theft of farm equipment in Blessington in March, livestock from a farm in Dunlavin, also in March and chainsaws from Tuckmill in April.

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