Farm Ireland

Wednesday 23 January 2019

IFA calls for more rural Garda patrols as 'people have right to feel safe in home'

IFA deputy Richard Kennedy
IFA deputy Richard Kennedy
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

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.

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"I farm in Limerick, outside the city, and we have experienced some of these gangs coming out and causing problems."

He said he acknowledged that being a garda was a tough job, but said more resources were needed if the threats were to be stopped.

Meanwhile, the IFA plans to host a meeting involving farmers, gardaí, representatives of Fingal County Council and community groups in north Co Dublin in a bid to highlight the problems of theft, intimidation and trespassing and to form an action plan to combat the thugs.

Irish Independent