GARDAI in Newcastle West are continuing to investigate an incident in which a local farmer was badly injured after a foiled theft at his farm at the weekend.
However, they are still waiting to speak to the victim, who has been hospitalised since Saturday.
“It was a heinous crime,” Supt Tom O’Connor said this Wednesday. “It was an assault causing serious harm to a defenceless man.”
Meanwhile, they are appealing for information from any members of the public who may have seen suspicious activity in the vicinity of Ahawilk and Banogue bridge near Feoghanagh, between 2 and 3 pm last Saturday . In particular, they are anxious to hear from anybody who may have seen a silver car with an 04 Cork registration in the area.
So far, only partial details of the getaway car have emerged.
Meanwhile, the injured farmer is recovering from his ordeal in hospital. He is understood to have undergone surgery for a broken hand and shoulder sustained when the culprits drove at him, knocking him to the ground and partially rolling over him. The 68-year-old also suffered broken ribs.
The incident happened at the man’s farm, just off the Newcastle West to Dromcollogher road, about 2.30pm on Saturday.
The farmer was alone on the premises at the time and emerged into his yard to find a man in the act of loading bales of shavings, for bedding, into a car.
The farmer, it is understood, challenged the thieves but the man who was loading up the car, jumped into it and the car was then driven at the man, knocking him to the ground and injuring him before making off.
The injured man managed to drag himself to the house where he raised the alarm.
He was airlifted by helicopter to University Hospital Limerick but is expected to be returning home shortly.
“We are following up definite leads,” Supt Tom O’Connor said. “Concerned citizens have contacted us, given us information and we are folloiwng this up.”
“We are of the opinion that there was more than one involved in the incident,” he added.
The bales of shavings, which were the target for the thieves, are not very valuable in themselves. However, Supt O’Connor explained: “Obviously they wanted them for bedding for horses.”
The stealing of bales is not unknown, according to the superintendent but much of it goes unreported.
And he appealed to people with any information about Saturday’s incident or who may have information about any similar type of acticity to contact the Gardai in Newcastle West on 069 20650 or 1800 666 111.