Gardaí hunt cattle rustlers after livestock stolen from Cork farm
• Yesterday 17:37
Heartless rustlers stole seven cattle, including a prize bull, from a Cork farmer in the hours before Christmas Eve.
The landowners warned that the theft from a farm outside Ballyvourney in west Cork was tantamount to stealing half the herd because of their prize bull being targeted.
Gardaí are now hunting the raiders who stole the seven cattle from a shed on the isolated farm late last Friday evening.
No arrests have been made and gardaí believe the thieves must have had the farm under surveillance in the days before the theft.
Detectives also believe the raiders are experienced in handling animals – and deliberately used the build-up to the Christmas festivities as cover for their rustling operation.
A truck or large jeep and trailer is believed to have been used to remove the animals under cover of darkness.
A total of seven cattle were taken including a valuable bull, two calves and four in-calf cows.
Aine Corkery said the theft was very upsetting for her family.
The Corkerys are accomplished and highly respected farmers in Ballyvourney.
“It is very upsetting and a major shock – to think of someone coming into the yard and taking the cattle,” she said.
“Every farmer knows that a good bull is half the herd so whoever took our bull is basically after walking out of our yard with half of our herd.”
Macroom gardaí have appealed for anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area last Thursday or Friday to contact them.
They especially wish to speak with anyone who may have seen vehicles parked near outlying farms in the general Ballyvourney area.
Gardaí have also urged any farmer who is offered animals under suspicious circumstances or at cut-price rates to immediately alert gardaí or the Department of Agriculture.
The Cork rustling incident marked the latest in a spate of thefts on farms across Ireland.
Tractors, trailers and machinery including chainsaws and generators have been targeted with gardaí fearing the thieves are selling the stolen goods on the black market both in Ireland and the UK.