Crow banger debate: ‘All they are good for is disturbing the peace’

An explosive debate over crow bangers aired on RTÉ’s Liveline this week.

Maurice Fitzgerald, who said he lives in the countryside, rang the show to complain that “crow bangers spoil the summer”.

“I don’t think they even work. I see the birds coming back between the bangs so I don’t know why farmers are spending thousands on them,” he said.

They’re like a military cannon going off. All they are really good for is disturbing the peace in the community.

“The community’s interests needs to be balanced against the farmers.”

Robert Rowe, a farmer from Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow, defended the use of crow bangers.

“I have a crow banger but I use it when I need it,” he said.

“What does the farmer do to keep the birds off his livelihood? If birds are coming in destroying crops on him he has no alternative.”

‘Farms are controversial places anyway’

Rowe added that the average person gets paid at the end of the week but “if crows are coming in and damaging crops, the farmer doesn’t get any pay packet” if his crops are ruined.

It’s the same thing as someone putting their hand in your pocket and taking your wages – what would you think of that?

Fitzgerald responded, saying that he has to “put up with all the bangs, all the rubbish and all the silage”, adding: “I mean, farms are controversial places anyway.”

Rowe told him to “have a bit of appreciation” for farmers and that his food “is coming from the land and it’s coming from the farmer”.

‘We don’t need farming’

Fitzgerald continued the debate, stating that “people can grow their own food you know; there’s a new movement in this country”.

“I think people are moving away from farming. We don’t need it – we don’t need half the farming we have anyway.

Are we to put up with the bangers throughout the summer and have absolutely no quality of life because some farmer wants to disturb the community?

“Farmers are all overproducing anyway and getting paid by the EU to overproduce.

“The smell of the manure and all the other stuff that comes off farms – are we just supposed to tolerate everything?”

Fitzgerald concluded: “Do something about the crow bangers and do something about the manure all over the roads.”