GARDAI arrested a man at the weekend in connection with 16 bales of silage being slashed to pieces in the dead of night, the Limerick Leader understands.
Last October, half of 32 bales made on land in Ardroe, Pallasgreen, owned by Patsy O’Keeffe, were cut. It is believed the perpetrator, armed with a knife or sharp implement, damaged the precious fodder under the cover of darkness.
Gardai picked up a male at his home address in east Limerick at around 7.30am on Saturday morning, May 11.
He was conveyed to Bruff Garda Station where he was questioned by investigating officers about the criminal damage to Patsy O’Keeffe’s property and a number of other related incidents.
The man, aged in his sixties, was released without charge by gardai on Saturday afternoon. A file is being prepared by gardai for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Limerick Leader ran a story on the bales being slashed last October.
Limerick IFA chairman, Shay Galvin said he never heard of anything like this happening before and called it “wanton vandalism”.
“And especially after a year like this when there is a fodder crisis,” said Mr Galvin.
Patsy O’Keeffe described it as a “despicable crime”.
“It is a chilling thing to see a field full of bales and half of them cut to shreds,” said Mr O’Keeffe.
“We consider ourselves a decent, hard-working family and we can’t understand why somebody would do this,” he continued.
Mr O’Keeffe, aged 60, lives in Kilteely but farms 10 acres in Pallasgreen that were left to him by his late mother.
He sold the silage crop from a five acre field to a neighbour.
“It was a fine crop - it was top quality silage. My neighbour sent down a lad to bring them back to his farm. The lad rang my neighbour straight away when he saw there was 16 - exactly half of the bales – cut and damaged. It was right through the plastic and netting. My neighbour rang me.
“It was shocking in the extreme, despicable carry on. It was pure blackguarding,” said Mr O’Keeffe.
Each silage bale is valued at around €40 so Mr O’Keeffe was at a significant financial loss.
The money was ear-marked towards his three sons’ college fees and accommodation.