Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 19 November 2017

Watch: 'Gardai are more worried catching farmers having two or three pints than going out catching real f***ing criminals'

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

One of the more memorable contributions on the Independent Talks stage at the National Ploughing Championships was that of farmer John Tully from Borris.

Tully, whose local community in Laois is fundraising to install CCTV to help reduce rural crime said that more emphasis must be put on tackling rural crime, not chasing 'crimes' such as out of date car tax.

In a hard hitting contribution, he said the problem with the Gardai is that if a property is burgled it is taking them several days to come out to the victims.

“If you are robbed today they’ll come out maybe two or three days later. That’s not good enough. There is no follow up,” he said.

Tully also hit out at Garda management. “The big problem is the top people in their stations,” who he said are not allowing regular Gardai to do the work.

He said the Gardai are more interested in going after the person that has the two or three pints..."than going out catching real f***ing criminals,” he blasted.

Tully also warned farmers that criminals were operating in vans disguised as road maintenance. He advised farmers to keep a close eye on vans on their roads and also suggested that people accessing farms to carry out work should be vetted.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) Chairman Seamus Sherlock told the Independent.ie talk that 60pc of farmers have been affected by rural crime and that 40pc have had more than one crime take place on their farm.

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He said that a lot of elderly people are living in absolute fear. "They are petrified they will be murdered in their own home.

"They're our grandparents who worked on the land for years and now they are living in fear."

He also said that people in rural Ireland are afraid to walk into their neighbour's yard, afraid they'd be mistaken for a burgular. However, he said that rural Ireland will never get back to the days of the local Garda living close.

IFA Treasurer Jer Bergin said people should not be in living in fear, but should be protected.

"The answer is not to turn Ireland into some sort of prison camp. This is gangland crime too, it's organised with a market at the end."

Eliminating a market for stolen goods, he said, would help put a stop to crime. "If that market is gone it would be a lot harder for those people to operate."

He also said that farmers need to mark their property, so it can be returned to them if it is recovered. Sherlock said that 99pc of farmers would not know the make of their chainsaw, nevermind the markings on it. "Too many fellows have thousands of euros worth of machinery in a shed with a €2 lock."


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