'The gardai said they were at Electric Picnic' - Farmer raided six times in three years
A Laois farmer whose holding has been raided six times in three years is at his wits' end
'They came at around 3am last week and simply cleared off with every tool in my shed and took every bit of diesel in the place," says Charles O'Connor, a dairy farmer from Ballyroan near Abbeyleix.
The 38-year-old farms 200 acres plus in the area and is a 'veteran victim' of the marauding criminal gangs whose nightly clean out of farm sheds and farmyards throughout rural Ireland has become an epidemic.
He's now recovering from his sixth farm raid in three years.
"When I asked the Gardai where they were over the past few days they said they were at Electric Picnic," he says on the policing and traffic plans required for the Co Laois music festival.
"The haul this time included diesel from five tractors lined up to do silage cutting the next day, what remained in the diesel tank in the dairy, a trailer and a huge amount of tools from the shed."
He had ramped up security on the farmyard.
"They left behind three angle grinder blades which shows you how long it took them to get into the shed.
"And in the shed there was a huge amount of new tools we were storing for a friend and carpenter who works in Dublin. He asked us to store them because he was changing his transport from a transit van to a jeep," Charles continues.