EIGHT OUT OF ten farmers say they support the right of a farmer to own a gun to protect themselves and their property against criminals.
The Irish Examiner/ICMSA survey published today reveals that farmers believe that gun ownership could combat rising crime levels in rural areas.
More male farmers approved of gun ownership over female farmers, while farmers under the age of 35 showed the least support.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, John Comer President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers (ICMSA) said he didn’t think that gun ownership was “the remedy” to the issue of rural isolation.
He said,”The survey says 81 per cent say they need a gun to protect themselves and their property. It encapsulates the way people feel in the country in terms of vulnerability”.
He said the survey results are “a direct result from gradual withdrawal” of services from rural Ireland, such post offices and garda stations.
He said he respected peoples’ right to own a gun, but said he did not own one. He added:
I would never advocate that it is a solution to the problem. But if you are 20 miles away from the garda station and the robbers are knocking on your door or are down in your yard and you know that it is absolutely futile… you feel you have the right to protect your property – that is one side of the coin – but it is not the answer…
John Bryan, President of Irish Farmer’s Association said rural isolation is a big issue, saying that people are worried about criminal gangs but said more roaming patrols by the gardaí could be the answer.