A “sizeable” reward has been offered for information leading to the recovery of a bespoke dumper which was stolen from a potato farm in Co. Dublin.
The Komatsu Morooka MST 2000 rubber dumper, owned by Finnegan’s Farm, was taken from a yard behind Peamount Hospital in Newcastle, Co. Dublin on the afternoon of June 16.
Finnegan’s Farm is a fifth generation family run farm operating over 3,000ac, primarily in Co. Meath, but also across the wider Leinster region.
The business manages 500ac of potatoes along with 2,100ac of tillage, 400ac of grassland and 40ac of sprouts, along with a substantial cattle enterprise.
Paul Finnegan told Agriland that they bought the Morooka dumper in 2002 to use when digging potatoes in bad weather conditions.
He said such machines, which weigh over 10t, were originally used in Japan to transport clay and muck and are very useful in wet conditions due to their long tracks which minimise ground compaction.
The Finnegans used the machine when weather conditions were extreme and trailers were unable to access the land during potato harvest.
They converted the Morooka into a potato chaser by removing the dumper body and replacing it with a bespoke potato bin that could hold 7-8t of potatoes.
They manufactured the bin in their own workshop and fitted it onto the machine.
It included a variable-speed moving floor with a high tip lift which could easily fill a trailer.
The machine, which underwent many modifications, could travel up to 10k/h and had a single-lever joystick control.
“This machine was a unique, bespoke build and is very distinctive in character. Many hours of work went into converting this to suit Finnegan’s specific needs,” Paul explained.
“It is not of great worth to anyone else, but is invaluable to Finnegan’s for use during potato harvesting,” he added.
Paul said that there was also a sentimental value attached to the dumper due to the many hours spent adapting it.
He said that a lorry, believed to have been a Volvo, with a low loader trailer may have been used in the robbery.
In a statement, An Garda Síochána confirmed to Agriland that they are investigating the theft of farm equipment from a property in Loughtown, Newcastle, Co. Dublin on June 16.
They added that no arrests have yet been made in the case and investigations are ongoing.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of this unique machine is asked to contact Clondalkin Garda station on; 01 666 7600.