Survey shows fear amongst rural dwellers
A recent report into the views of young Irish farmers on the need for protection in their own homes says it all. Farmers, and in fact most rural dwellers live in fear of being targeted by burglars.
According to the survey, commissioned by Macra na Feirme a whopping 83 per cent of young Irish farmers believe that they should have the right to bear arms. This reflects the level of fear and worry amongst those living in isolated country areas who are sick of tired of being targeted by violent and ruthless gangs who troll the countryside stealing from others.
So why do young farmers believe they need to supply their own protection? It is because they feel that these gangs are getting away with what they are doing. Given the geographical spread of rural Ireland these criminals are always going to be difficult to catch. They are more coordinated than ever before, with no moral compass and a sense of entitlement to whatever the decide to snatch. If it comes to it, they are prepared to injure or even kill their innocent victims and they know that the nearest Gardaí are more than likely too far away to be able to arrive before they flee the scene.
There simply aren't enough guards to go around and this lack of resources is feeding these criminals even more. If farmers feel that they need a gun at their bedside to deter these intruders, then that is worrying, to say the least. One dreads to think what would happen if a firearm got into the wrong hands and was used against its owner. I don't believe that taking the law into your own hands is ever the answer but it is wrong that such levels of threat are an issue for the farming community. We don't need ordinary citizens going around waving guns at anyone who enters their property but what we do need is for the powers that be to realise that a stronger rural Garda presence is very much needed.
If they aren't will to re-open rural stations, or feel they aren't effective, more mobile patrols are still needed. Everyone is entitled to feel safe in their own home, without fear of intruders targeting them during the night, to rob them, or worse.
It is unreasonable to expect a police force that until, this year has had numbers dropping like never before to be able to cope with this epidemic and until the resources are supplied we will be fighting a losing battle.