A SIXMILEBRIDGE county councillor has spoken out, after his business was targeted by criminals this week, leaving him €2,000 out of pocket due to damage caused to 12 of his tractors.
Councillor PJ Ryan’s tractor and grass care business in Sixmilebridge was entered by thieves on Tuesday night and heavy-duty batteries were stolen from 12 tractors he had in the yard of the premises.
In addition, a new lawnmower and metal object were also stolen. He said the items stolen would cost in the region of €2,000 to replace.
This is the third time in a year and a half that the business has been targeted and Councillor Ryan said not only were the batteries stolen but significant damage was also caused while removing them.
“This is the third time we have been targeted in about a year and a half. We had a safe taken before and we’ve been targeted for the same type of material before – about a year and a half ago they robbed all the batteries.
“One of the bad things about it is that it’s bad enough stealing the batteries but they don’t even open the leads onto the batteries, they just cut them off with a hacksaw, which is sickening, because you then have to go and replace all the wiring.
“Anything that was stopping them from getting at the batteries, they just busted it or cut it open,” he said.
Gardaí believe two people were involved in the incident and CCTV captured on the premises shows them arriving at 12.05am and staying on the premises for an hour and a half.
Councillor Ryan said the types of items stolen were ones that could be sold on for scrap metal, something he recently called for more regulation of in the council chamber.
He explained that he wanted to see a system introduced, whereby people selling scrap metal had to produce identification when doing so, as he said this was a business where more accountability was needed.
“The big problem I have is that these guys can go along and walk into a scrap dealer and sell him the stuff, without presenting any identification whatsoever and get paid in cash. It’s a very easy way of making money,” Councillor Ryan said.