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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 25 May, 2019
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Scrap metal thieves targeting farmers

A farmers’ association has called on the Gardaí to increase its supervision of the scrap metal industry in order to protects its members’ land.

File photo of scrap metal being processed at Dublin Docks.
File photo of scrap metal being processed at Dublin Docks.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

CLAIMING THEY ARE in the middle of a theft epidemic, farmers in Ireland have called for more Garda supervision of the scrap metal industry.

According to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), current arrangements around the buying and selling of valuable scrap metals has led to the “wholesale pillaging of farms by gangs”.

The association’s president Jackie Cahill said that the arrangements in the country’s commercial metal recycling centres are “unacceptably casual”.

“It is literally an epidemic of theft. We’re talking about wholesale pillaging of farms, where we have groups arriving in vans and proceeding to steal whatever they want, or whatever they estimate they’ll be able to sell on. What is causing me such concern is that they seem to be able to convert into cash whatever it is they steal without any bother at all,” Cahill said in the association’s latest newsletter.

He claims that the stolen metals are exchanged for cash at the country’s 55 commercial recycling centres.

“We will be writing to the Garda Commissioner asking him to ensure that the Gardai become a much more regular presence at these metal recycling centres so that they can observe the actually receiving of the scrap itself.

I’ve no doubt at all that such a presence of officers will greatly reduce the amount of stolen metals and scrap being offered for sale at these locations, and it will also enable the Gardaí to build up a valuable profile of the individuals and groups involved in this trade.”

Cahill also called on the Government to insist that the centres keep a full register of those who have sold scrap to them. Further to this, he suggested that centres should only pay for scrap by cheque or by direct transfer to a bank accout.

“If you came by the scrap legitimately why would you have a problem with that,” he asked.

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