IFA crime and security spokesperson Jer Bergin said rural crime will be high on the agenda when its almost 950 branches hold meetings in the coming weeks.
He made the comments after a farmer was beaten and locked in a shed by a gang of four men who broke into his farmhouse at Glasderry beg, Brosna, near Birr in Co Offaly at around 2am on Saturday.
The farmer, who is in his mid 50s, managed to escape to a neighbouring property where he raised the alarm. He is recovering from non- life threatening injuries at Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore.
The raiders fled with a small sum of money. It is believed the rural farm was targeted by thieves six weeks earlier.
Mr Bergin believes quick arrests and sentences that reflect the seriousness of such crimes are vital to help comfort the victims and communities. In this latest incident, he said he would be confident of a successful conclusion.
Mr Bergin explained that the IFA is “working in partnership with the gardaí on all issues around rural crime”.
Now that the economy has improved he said, “we are calling for rural Ireland to get its fair allocation of gardaí and Garda cars”.
He urged communities to check on vulnerable neighbours and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
“Anything suspicious, no matter how innocuous it may seem, report it to gardaí,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Birr Garda Superintendent Martin Cashen issued a fresh appeal in relation to the burglary. He said gardaí are appealing to farmers, residents, and landowners in the Shinrone area to keep a look out for clothing possibly discarded in fields or hedges.
“Also any suspicious persons or vehicles in the Drumakeenan and Glassderrybeg areas on the N62 Birr to Roscrea Road that was noticed last night or in the days leading up to the incident.
“If anything is located please do not touch it and contact Birr Garda Station immediately,” Supt Cashen said.
Anyone with information should contact gardaí
in Birr on 057 9169710 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.