IFA calls for more rural Garda patrols as 'people have right to feel safe in home'
More gardaí on high-visibility patrols are needed to help stem the intimidation of farmers by criminal gangs, it has been warned.
Deputy president of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) Richard Kennedy said many farmers and their families, particularly those living in isolated areas, were living in a state of constant fear.
"People have a right to feel safe in their own homes but they don't any more," he told the Irish Independent.
"There has been no easing off in crime in rural areas.
"There is a lot of fear out there because of the intimidation farmers face when they ask trespassers to get off their land. They are also worried that they will get into trouble if they challenge the trespassers."
Mr Kennedy said the IFA was not looking for the reopening of Garda stations that had been shut.
"We want sufficient resources available to allow the Garda to send out more mobile patrols that are highly visible and will act as a deterrent," he said.
"Intimidation is a problem in many parts of the country.