FEARS are heightening over farm security in rural North Kerry after cattle rustlers hit yet another farm in the early hours of Monday morning, stealing six prize cattle in Ballyduff before making their getaway.
t’s the latest shocking incident in a largely unprecedented spate of cattle thefts in the wider region over recent months, leaving many farm families in the area even more worried about the security of their livelihood.
The raiders struck a farm at the Ladies’ Walk area of Ballyduff – close to the Ferry Bridge over the Cashen – at around 2am on Monday morning, loading six cattle in all onto a Hudson trailer before making their getaway.
It comes just over two months after a similar incident on the Tarbert farm of Ballybunion woman Mary Jo Kissane in a case that made national headlines.
One of the differences this time is that the raid was captured on security cameras placed around the farm and showing the callous gang loading the cattle onto the trailer before scarpering.
It is hoped the security footage will assist the garda investigation launched on Monday morning in tracking down the culprits. Many locals suspect the gang was helped identify the lucrative cattle by people living in the area and acting as spies for crime gangs.
The six animals are worth thousands of euros at a time when cattle prices are very high. They were all Aberdeen Angus, the group comprised of one in-calf cow, one heifer and four weanlings.
It came as a massive and shocking blow to farmer Mike O’Mahony who launched an immediate appeal for information on his social media.
“Hoping someone might be able to help out in any way if possible,” Mr O’Mahony wrote, outlining the crime perpetrated on his farm and divulging vital details as to the vehicles involved:
“They were stolen in a fresh twin axle Hudson trailer pulled by a black/dark 4×4. Last seen crossing the Ferry Bridge headed towards Ballybunion/Lisselton/Kiltean.
“I’m hoping someone may have seen this vehicle or have dashcam footage showing the direction the scumbags were headed. Any information greatly appreciated, big or small.”
IFA member Tim Brown farms the land adjacent to the Ladies’ Walk farm hit on Monday. He said everyone in the closeknit farm community was deeply shaken by the raid: “It’s a fright, it’s absolutely dreadful, a very low thing to do altogether and I never remember anything like this ever having happened before. People are fearful for their security when that kind of thing can happen.”
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