Man released without charge over €100,000 livestock theft

A man who was arrested yesterday (October 1) in connection with the theft of livestock to the value of €100,000 has been released without charge, a Garda spokesperson has said.

A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the matter is still under investigation, the spokesperson said.

The man, who is in his 30s, was arrested in Donegal in relation to the case where 75 cattle and 25 sheep were stolen from the farm at Cornaher (between Kilbeggan and Tyrrellspass), Co. Westmeath in June.

Gardai arrested the man during a planned operation in Donegal and he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Ballyshannon Garda Station.

It is believed that it was the largest cattle theft in the country’s history.

Christa Dillon, who owns the farm with her husband Niall, at the time said that there is is a corridor of lawlessness along the border and it is allowing the black market cattle rustling trade to thrive.

“To lose our livelihood in this way is unacceptable,” she said.

In July, a renewed nationwide appeal was made from Crimestoppers, the IFA and An Garda Siochana to combat the problem of livestock theft. Earlier this summer, a number of cattle and sheep were stolen from Irish farms.

Launched in February 2015, the campaign calls on members of the public and in particular those in the farming community with information on the theft of cattle and sheep to come forward with information.

Theft of both cattle and sheep is an issue that affects all regions of Ireland, causing significant problems for the farmers who fall victim to the criminals, a spokesperson for Crimestoppers said.

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