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North Clare farmers threatened by shotgun-wielding thugs

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FARMERS in North Clare are being “terrorised” on their own lands and a Garda Inspector has been assigned to look into the issue. 

Clare’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told, at its quarterly meeting, that a proactive response is needed from Gardaí, after the issue was raised by two Dáil deputies.

The matter was highlighted by Deputy Cathal Crowe who handed over a number of registration numbers to the Chief Superintendent. 

“There’s a group of farmers in the Liscannor area who are being terrorised at the moment,” he said.

“Very frequently, people come onto their land with shotguns, hunting for rabbits and foxes, and, as a farmer is entitled to, they approach them to clear them, only to be told the gun will be used on them. This is happening repeatedly.

“It’s one thing to be terrorised on the streets, but to be terrorised on your own property is an entirely different thing. So, they work together and they’re in contact with each other. The farmers are combining in terms of resisting this thuggery on their collective lands.”

“We are going to need a response from An Garda Síochána. I have six registration numbers which I was asked to bring to the meeting which I will hand over privately. These are all registration numbers that are frequent in the area. Some of them without tax or insurance. If you can’t get them for the heavy stuff, at least get them for some of the road traffic offences. They need to be reined in. It’s terrorising people in North Clare.”

Responding, Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran said he had recently spoken to Deputy Joe Carey about the issue. “It’s something that we are aware of, we have received complaints,” he said.

“The one thing I would say is that any time anyone feels that something is not right or inappropriate, or they’re intimidated, make sure they contact us at An Garda Síochána. That’s what we’re there for. We are a tax-payer funded service. 

The Chief confirmed that a senior Garda has been assigned to look into the issue. 

“From speaking to Deputy Carey last week, I’ve nominated Inspector Finnerty to put together the pattern of behaviour,” he said.

“There’s a number of stakeholders too that we’re in contact with. That’s something that we will actively progress. We know exactly where you’re coming from. Don’t ever be afraid to contact the Gardaí with a partial registration number or a name. If you’re in doubt, contact the Guards. Make sure you come forward with any complaints.”

Deputy Carey thanked the Chief for his response and the intervention in Liscannor.

“This is a very disturbing situation,” he said. “I welcome the fact that Inspector David Finnerty will liaise with the stakeholders in that regard to try to bring about some kind of resolution to that issue.”

Fiona McGarry
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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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