Thursday 18 January 2018

'Farmers now on armed patrol at night to guard properties against burglars' - farmer who was robbed six times

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

A farmer who has been hit with a wave of burglaries has claimed that other farmers are now going on armed patrol at night in order to defend their properties in the area.

Clive Clarke (36) who works as both a farmer and a butcher with his father and has seen the family farm targeted by burglars six times in the last 13 years.

On Tuesday night, €13,000 worth of equipment - including quad bikes, trailers, money, a tractor, road diesel, meat and butcher knives - were taken.

An emotional Clive told that the family dog was beaten to death in the first burglary 13 years ago, and the front door was broken in with sledgehammers.

“We’re on the verge of cracking. I was afraid to go down to the yard this morning”.

He told Newstalk FM that “licensed firearms holders are patrolling areas of the countryside at night because they are in such fear.”

It wasn’t “a matter of if, but a matter of when” somebody would get hurt as “it has gone to the stage where people are so terrified”, he said.

He later told Liveline: “if you do anything, are you in the wrong?”

Adding that, “it has been pointed out to us that we would be in the wrong.”

He said “several different people” had asked him not to publicise the issue of farmers carrying out their own armed patrols.

The father-of-two, who works the family farm with his father David who is in his 60s, said both families have been living off the one farm. The wave of burglaries has compounded what has been a difficult few years on the family farm.

Several years ago, Clive discovered three men taking steel from the farm. He pursued them himself and managed to get the steel back.

After another burglary last year, Mr Clarke said that he had slept in the shed for several months.

“A lot of the time [after a burglary] you can’t sleep and you’ll go for a walk and wait and see if you can see anything – to see if you can raise the alarm,” he said.

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