Kieran Foley reports
THE Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) last week launched its submission to the political parties and Dáil candidates for the 2016 general election.
The submission sets out the main policy issues to be addressed in each commodity sector and deals with important cross-sectoral issues.
The campaign launch placed a significant focus on the issue of tackling rural crime.
The manifesto calls for the enforcement of scrap metal legislation, support for the establishment of IFA’s National Text Alert service and increased Garda policing hours and presence in rural areas.
“The perception is that people don’t feel safe anymore,” said Tim O’Leary, IFA Deputy President.
“We require reassurance that this is being addressed. We have to see a Garda presence at infrequent times – not just that they pass down the road at a specific time every single week.”
Last November, the IFA appointed a rural crime prevention executive to support the development of its crime prevention policy and to aid the rollout of Theft Stop, a joint initiative with An Garda Síochána
Colin Connolly, a former member of An Garda Síochána, with over 11 years’ experience in crime investigation and crime prevention techniques, will work closely with the Gardaí on the development of a range of crime prevention initiatives, including the national rollout of Theft Stop.
Locally, measures are also being taken amongst the farming community to tackle the scourge of rural crime.
Shortly before Christmas, IFA branches in Mid-Waterford launched a comprehensive text alert system in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.