IFA Deputy President Brian Rushe is seeking a meeting with the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee for a commitment to increase Garda numbers to tackle rural crime.
Farmers across the country are dealing with the recurring problem of gangs of men with ‘lurcher’ dogs coming onto private lands and working farms, threatening livestock.
During a recent incident in Tipperary, a farmer close to his home encountered men with dogs ‘lamping on his land’. Their vehicle was blocking the lane and when he engaged with them, he was badly beaten and left concussed. His injuries included facial lacerations and fractured ribs.
As a result of these type of events, community meetings have been called around the country and hundreds of people have attended to express fears for their safety.
Over 250 farmers attended a meeting in Adare, Co Limerick this week.
“The meetings hear calls for additional Garda patrols and the need for more of visibility of Gardai. Despite assurances that recruitment is ongoing, the failure to get enough replacements for those retiring is leading to gaps in resources,” he said.
Brian Rushe said the laws in relation to trespass must be changed and tied into the owners and occupiers’ liability insurance.