Members of An Garda Síochána have begun investigations following a vandalism incident where a number of bales of hay were set alight by youths in Co. Cork.

Taking place in Glanmire, Co. Cork, the incident occurred on Sunday night.

In a statement to AgriLand, a Garda representative said: “Gardaí are investigating an incident of criminal damage that occurred on Sunday, July 28, between 7:30pm and 9:30pm at a field in the Glanmire area of Cork.

It is reported that a group of youths set hay on fire. Investigations are ongoing.

Local community group Facebook page Glanmire Noticeboard posted an image of the burnt bales, stating:

“Disgraceful to see a local farmer’s hay set on fire by youths in the area last night; this is not fun or a prank.

“This is expensive to replace and messing with a person’s livelihood,” the page added.

Minister condemns ‘spate of wildfires’

On a related noted, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, has condemned the spate of wildfires in recent years in Ireland and appealed to members of the public to be conscious of the dangers posed by fire on open ground.

The minister says the main source of wildfires is believed to be through deliberate starting of fires “without concern for the consequences”.

She also pointed to one of the challenges around the whole area which centres on encouraging members of the public – including landowners, farmers and recreational users of publicly accessible land – to act responsibly at all times and to be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, and of the need to protect property.