'Spineless thugs kicked me in the head until I was unconscious' - dad-of-three brutally attacked by gang
Father of three attacked by crime gang using dogs to 'suss' out farms
A farmer who was kicked unconscious after he confronted trespassers on his land is the latest victim of a gang using lurcher dogs as a cover while carrying out surveillance for a crime spree.
Father-of-three Patrick Walsh (47), from Lispopple, Swords, Co Dublin, was brutally set on when he challenged four men on his land on the evening of September 2.
Mr Walsh suffered four cracked ribs, a dislocated shoulder and needed stitches to his face after he was kicked repeatedly on the ground about 150 metres from his home.
He became the latest victim of criminals who pretend they are using the lurchers to hunt hares while "sussing out" properties before a theft.
Gardaí say several crime gangs are involved and they intimidate farmers to stop them reporting incidents.
One gang is highly active in north Co Dublin but has also been involved in intimidation in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Others have been concentrating on the farming community in Munster.
Now the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) is launching a fresh campaign to fight back and is seeking the help of gardaí, councillors and community groups.
Mr Walsh told how on the evening in question his mother rang and said she had seen men on his land. He saw two men sitting in a car but they denied they had been on the farm.