IFA rural crime officer steps down
The IFA's rural crime-prevention expert has stepped down from the role.
Colin Connolly, a former garda with 11 years experience, vacated the position last December - just 13 months after his appointment in November 2015.
Speaking to the Farming Independent, Mr Connolly said he left the role for "personal reasons".
However, the IFA has declined to say whether it intends to fill the vacant position.
"I moved away from the position for personal reasons," said Mr Connolly. "The issue of rural crime is something I'm very passionate about and I'm now studying counselling and psychotherapy that deals with the victim.
"I believe there is a massive job of work to be done with regards isolation and mental health and loneliness," he said.
The IFA appointed a rural crime-prevention executive - the first position of its kind in Ireland - to support the development of its crime-prevention policy. This included an extension of TheftStop: a joint crime-prevention initiative with the Gardaí.
Although a spokesperson for the IFA confirmed that TheftStop is still operating, Mr Connolly has called on the organisation to appoint someone to the crime-prevention role as a matter of urgency.