By Patrick Donohoe
A Co Monaghan farmer nearly became the victim of cattle rustling for the second time in two years last weekend.
A farmer in Co Louth and a quick-thinking neighbour stopped the theft of cattle on Saturday.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Tommy Lambe from Red Bog was woken by a neighbour alerting him to some people rounding up cattle in his field.
“I got the call at exactly 5.33am and I suppose it would have taken me about seven or eight minutes to get down from the house. The person who rang me had seen a cattle truck parked up near enough the field. He noticed that there was no number plate on the back of the truck,” Lambe explained.
“When he was coming back down the way, he saw the truck in the lane beside my field and there were two boys in the field walking around rounding up the cattle. He rang me then but also let a shout at the lads in the field. The two boys scarpered after that and we think they ran out through the fields and were picked up in a white car. I couldn’t be more grateful to my neighbour for what he has done,” Lambe added.
This was not the first time that Lambe was the target for cattle theft. Two years ago, six of Lambe’s cattle were stolen from a field close to where the attempted robbery took place at the weekend.
“It’s just beyond me why people would do it. The last theft cost me the guts of €10,000 and there would’ve been a bigger loss this time around. It’s people’s livelihoods here and I would encourage farmers to keep an eye on all stock now that cattle are out on grass,” he said.
Lambe buys in heifers and steers every spring before finishing them in the second summer.
Just a short distance away, as many as 17 cattle were reported stolen from farms on the Down/Louth border.The thefts took place between 1 June and 3 June. The PSNI is investigating.
So far this year, there have been 59 cattle reported stolen from Irish farms.