Following a number of criminal incidents targeting farmers and the wider rural community in north County Dublin, Dublin IFA is holding a public meeting next Wednesday to discuss how best to tackle this serious issue.
In September, a farmer suffered a violent and unprovoked attack when he confronted a number of men who were trespassing on his land. It followed other incidents where a farmer in St. Margaret’s discovered men illegally dumping on his land went to ring the Gardai, but was run over by the van as they struck the gate. In the same area, another farmer approached men with dogs on his land and he was also assaulted and threatened at knifepoint.
Local public representatives, Fingal County Council and the Joint Policing Committee are invited to attend the meeting. An Garda Siochána and Barry Carey, IFA’s Crime Prevention Officer will also be present.
IFA’s Deputy President Richard Kennedy said, “We have seen a worrying increase in the hunting of hares (illegal under the Wildlife Act) and gangs with their dogs are trespassing on farmlands. When approached by farmers and land owners, they are hostile, and in some cases, are violent. They worry livestock, damage fences and leave gates open and animals distressed. This problem needs to be addressed urgently”.
In an address to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality this week, IFA called for the establishment of a dedicated Rural Crime Task Force. A similar UK task force has been successful in tackling rural crime.
Urging people to attend next week’s meeting, Dublin IFA Chairman Philip Maguire said, “IFA has been proactive in the fight against rural crime. But this needs to be a combined effort. We believe that if we work together we can better tackle this scourge. We encourage anyone from the community who is concerned about this problem to come along to next Wednesday’s meeting.”