Many farmers are being forced into taking “fortress-like” measures in a bid to boost security, according to Rory Doyle who was extremely relieved to see the family’s stolen tractor and trailer recovered by Gardai recently.

The Doyles, who run Rock Farm Feeds and are in tillage farming, with some cattle, were greatly inconvenienced without their Massey Ferguson 6480 and Broughan grain trailer. Both were taken from their locked farm shed on January 12 at 8:00pm.

They were driven through a field at the back of the farmyard and out through a gate further down the road.

Rory said that CCTV helped greatly in tracking the movements of the tractor/trailer combo – worth over €70,000 – reported to have been located 200km away, in west Clare.

“Social media and all media were really helpful and the Gardai were brilliant. Everyone was very helpful. Hopefully a prosecution will follow,” he said.

“We have the whole lot back; thank God. We got the trailer back last week and the tractor back a few days ago. We were fairly confident of getting them back – particularly the trailer – but as every day passed, we were getting more and more worried,” he said.

We had to make a repayment on the tractor when we didn’t have it. It’s hard enough to pay for it when it’s there.

Having had a pallet of milk replacer stolen over a year ago, the Doyles introduced a range of security measures in the farmyard.

“We put double sheeting on the doors and big blocks onto the doors of the shed,” he said. “We had locked the shed the tractor and trailer were in – and the yard was locked.

“We will be increasing our security measures, possibly with roller doors and gates and cameras. It all costs so much when money is tight for all farmers but it’s gone that way now for a lot of people – even though some farms are as open as anything.

“You have to be careful how you implement security measures, and get into the mindset of the criminal. The violence that is common now is terrifying. You have to take a step back and let the Gardai handle it.”