‘People of rural Ireland are frightened to leave the doors unlocked’

The face of rural Ireland has changed, and not for the better, according to the ICSA’s Seamus Sherlock.

Speaking to AgriLand at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, the ICSA Rural Development Chairman said: “It’s not the same Ireland as 60 years ago and rural people are frightened to leave their doors unlocked.

“The good old days are gone. We are now living in a country where you cannot leave your property unattended.”

Sherlock advised farmers to take responsibility when it comes to their own security. He stressed the importance of: adequate locks; CCTV where possible; and an entrance gate.

“If you’re protecting €10,000 worth of property, it makes sense to have a good lock and CCTV if you can afford it.

Every farmer should now have an entrance gate. If the entrance is open, people are going to drive in if you are not there.

An area which also warrants consideration, he said, is the availability of funding for a text alert scheme.

Claire Mc Cormack, AgriLand; Seamus Sherlock, ICSA; and Niall Garvey, Muintir na Tire

“There is a big concern out there for funding and, unfortunately, a lot of elderly people are starting to come to the conclusion that they are being abandoned.”

He added that everybody should make an effort to check on an elderly neighbour at least once or twice a week.

“We look out for our elderly. We are a great and loving nation. Give them your number and tell them that if they need your help, they can contact you,” he said.

Niall Garvey, CEO of Muintir na Tire, also spoke to AgriLand at the event. He said: “People can be slow to report crimes for a few reasons. One, they don’t think there’s any point or maybe they are afraid of retribution.

“We think it’s very important that all crimes are reported, because that’s the only way we are going to get results,” he said.