By Seamus Enright
Gardai have arrested a male this morning (Monday, December 15) as part of an ongoing multi-agency operation into the theft of livestock in the border counties. A male in his 30s was arrested early this morning in the Castleblayney area. He was detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Monaghan Garda Station. The clampdown operation on rustling involves An Garda Siochana and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Today's arrest follows the latest raid on unsuspecting farms in the Cavan-Monaghan region on December 5. That theft brought to over 100 the number of livestock stolen by rustlers across the two counties so far this year. Eleven cattle, nine red Limousin cross cows and two Belgium blues were stolen from a slatted shed near Laragh village, close to Castleblayney in Co Monaghan. Gardaí have said that at least five of the cattle were ready for slaughter and the theft is believed to have cost the farmer affected in the region of €15,000.
The theft once again spurred local gardaí in the region to warn farmers across Cavan and Monaghan and along the border region to be more vigilant.
It’s believed the latest night-time theft may have involved just a jeep and a trailer. Gardaí are seeking information from the local community if they saw any unusual behaviour in the transport or storing of livestock.
The latest theft follows major pressure from the farming community from both sides of the border on the authorities to put a stop to cattle thefts.
At the start of the month, police in Fermanagh carried out a joint operation along with their colleagues in An Garda Síochána and Departments of Agriculture in both jurisdictions, targeting suspected rural crime.
It saw a number of planned searches take place at properties in Co Fermanagh and the Republic, with items seized and taken away, including livestock ear tags, documentation and other items, for further examination.
In October of this year meanwhile, more than 50 animals were seized and impounded by police and agriculture officials in raids on farms on both sides of the Border.
The seizures, in counties Monaghan and Armagh, were part of a major cross-Border operation into the illegal movement of cattle across the Border and other irregularities, and saw several animals seized at one farm in the Castleblayney area of Co Monaghan.