Gang connected to a spate of farm thefts in midlands caught in the act

Three men connected to a spate of farm thefts in Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Carlow and Kilkenny have been remanded in custody after being found in possession of bolt cutters and balaclavas.

As part of an operation targeting burglaries and theft, Gardaí arrested the three, aged 36, 38 and 39 last week.

Thomas McInerney (39), Twomey Park, Mountmellick; William McInerney(36), Newline Close, Mountrath; and Gerard McInerney (38), Moanbaun, Mountrath appeared before Judge Victor Blake in Cloverhill, yesterday.

The men were charged with the possession of bolt cutters, balaclavas and other items for use in a burglary and were remanded in custody until August 3 following the hearing in Cloverhill.

The judge heard that on the morning of July 12 this year, shortly after midnight, a 4×4 vehicle failed to stop for Gardaí at a road checkpoint located at Cloncourse, Portlaoise.

This vehicle then rammed a marked Garda car and collided with a second Garda vehicle. Three men fled from the 4×4 vehicle into a field close by and an immediate search by Gardaí, with the assistance of the Garda Air Support Unit, resulted in three men being arrested a short time later.

The three arrested men were brought to Portlaoise and Tullamore Garda Stations where they were currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Four Gardaí received non-life threatening injuries during the incident and attended Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

Vehicles, trailers and farm equipment have been recovered during on-going searches in connection with this operation.

This operation was carried out by Gardaí from Laois/Offaly, Carlow/Kildare and Tipperary Garda Divisions who were assisted by Regional Support Units and the Garda Air Support Unit.