People living in rural areas are living in fear for their safety due to the risk of robberies and burglaries a Galway TD has said.
Galway East TD Seán Canney said farmers and homeowners are fearful for the safety of their families, as well as for their livestock and property.
Deputy Canney said that he has been contacted by homeowners who have been upset at the ease with with robberies and burglaries occur, and the lack of success in catching the perpetrators.
“Another common occurrence is the fact that there is a worrying increase in people trespassing, and general intimidation on farmers’ own land,” he said.
It can be very traumatic to encounter trespassers on your land, Seán Canney said, whether they are hunters with dogs, or people there for some other, unknown reason.
“Particularly if abusive language, intimidation, or physical aggression is meted out by these unwelcome parties.”
“Trespassing is a serious offence and providing the resources necessary to allow people feel safe in and on their own property needs to be a priority.”
The loss of livestock is also a serious concern, due to the vulnerability of cattle and sheep while they are out grazing.
During one incident in recent months, seven heifers were stolen from a plot of rented farmland near Ballinasloe last August.
In another high value theft near Corrandulla, some 30 high quality ducks, turkeys, and hens worth up to €10,000 were stolen last December.
A concerted effort is needed to track where stolen farm animals are ending up, Sean Canney said, and put a stop to it.