Gardai believe vehicle used in attack on farmer was parked in local field for some time

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Stock picture

Ciaran Moran and Wayne O'Connor

Gardai in the Midlands are searching for four culprits after a farmer in his 50s was subject to an aggravated burglary at his home.

Four men forced their way into the farmer’s home at Glasderry Beg, Brosna, near the Offaly-Tipperary border, at around 2am on Sunday morning.

He was assaulted by the men as they took him from his home and forced him into the shed.

He lives alone but managed to escape from the shed and make his way to a neighbour's house where the alarm was raised.

The intruders fled the scene with a small amount of cash.

Speaking at Birr Garda Station today Superintend Martin Cashen said: “We are appealing to farmers, residents and landowners in the Shinrone area to keep a lookout for clothing possibly discarded in fields or hedges.

He told RTE news that gardai believe the vehicle the culprits used may have been parked off site in a local field for some time.

“At this point in time, we think the culprits wore gloves and woolly hats. Likely they discarded those as they left the crime scene.

“We are looking to talk to people who saw any people acting suspiciously on the side of the road. 

“Also any suspicious persons or vehicles in the Drumakeenan and Glassderrybeg areas on the N62 Birr to Roscrea Road that was noticed that night or in the days leading up to the incident."

He said if anything is located, do not touch it and contact Birr Garda Station immediately on 057-9169710.

The attack has sparked fears that criminal gangs may once again be targeting homes along the country's motorway corridors after a man living on his own was targeted by burglars for the second time in six weeks yesterday.

Local Fine Gael councillor John Clendennen noted the area had been targeted by burglars in the past.

He called for more resources to be allocated to prevent crime in rural areas, including the installation of technology capable of reading the licence plates on cars entering the motorway network.

"There are situations where criminal gangs are using motorways to ransack rural Ireland and then get safely back to their havens afterwards," he said.

"We need collaboration between An Garda Siochana and local community groups and we need to see the resurrection of community gardai and their presence in towns and villages where they know everyone and they know what is going on."

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