• GARDAI PROBE ROADSIDE WALL-DAUBING IN CROSS-BORDER ‘WAR’ ON CATTLE RUSTLERS

10 January 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

THE protracted wave of cattle rustling along the Monaghan/Armagh Border took a dramatic new twist last weekend, when several roadside buildings—including a closed country pub in Mid-Monaghan—had their walls daubed with an alleged New Year’s “Thieves’ List”!

Gardai are investigating the daubing believed to have been carried out by self-styled ‘vigilantes’ and purporting to name individuals allegedly linked to the widespread theft of cattle on both sides of the Border!

While frantic efforts were speedily made to remove the daubing from some premises with a ‘paint-over’, the markings were still there for some days on several buildings close to the Keady Border in counties Monaghan and Armagh.

Gardai said tensions were apparently running high in the farming community, resulting in the buildings being used to vent anger over the cattle rustling.

It was also reported that they had quizzed some people in relation to their ongoing inquiries into the disappearance of livestock herds from farms.

As previously reported, herd-owners, who suffered huge losses as a result of cattle snatches, included popular Monaghan Fianna Fail councillor and auctioneer, John O’Brien.
He had twenty-one cattle stolen from a roadside shed at Corwillan, near Ballybay,
Mr. O’Brien said during the week he had no fresh information that might lead to the recovery of his animals but was still hopeful of getting any information, even in the strictest confidence, that might lead to their recovery .

Farming organisations have appealed to all herd owners to step up security at their farms to thwart further livestock losses to cross-border cattle rustling gangs.

And gardai have also reiterated a similar appeal for improved security at roadside farms.

Yesterday, a rural community spokesman in Monaghan, who asked not to be named, said: “Feeling is very high along the Border over the rustling of the cattle. The daubing of these buildings in recent days is an indication of how serious the issue has become.

“A very serious aspect is that innocent people may be named as a result of false rumours and this is wholly unacceptable.

“Some of the daubing has carried death threats and we sincerely hope those responsible for the rustling are brought to book by the authorities soon, before the situation escalates further, or gets out of hand.”

• It was estimated yesterday that the value of cattle stolen from Border farms in recent months has now exceeded well over €100,000.

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