Farmers must be aware of what cover their insurance policy provides, independent TD for the Roscommon-Galway constituency Michael Fitzmaurice has warned.
He was speaking in the wake of a spate of thefts on farms, particularly in Co. Galway of late, of farm machinery, trailers, power tools and garden machinery.
“It is very important that farmers are completely aware of what their farm insurance covers. While it may cover them for public liability etc, there might not be any cover when it comes to the theft of machinery.
“There have been a worrying number of reports of farm machinery, particularly trailers, being stolen of late – with power tools and garden machinery also commonly taken.
“For peace of mind, I would encourage farmers to approach their insurance providers and find out exactly what their policy covers.”
Lamenting the increase in thefts, Fitzmaurice added: “Farmers and people living in rural Ireland need to continue looking out for one another and report any suspicious activity in their area to the Gardai.
“It is very sad that every farm gate or shed door now needs to be locked tight for fear of items being stolen.
“It appears as if the thieves are getting information locally or extensively scouting areas out before making their move, as you would not believe where some of the thefts have been carried out.
“On one particular night in the county recently, one jeep was used to steal two trailers.
“It appears as if gangs are targeting rural Ireland and, in some cases, using the motorway to disappear into the darkness – making it extremely difficult for the Gardai to track and trace the stolen items.
“I would encourage anyone with information on any robberies to make contact with the Gardai. As has been the case for generations, farmers and others living in rural Ireland need to look out for one another.
“Putting distinguishable marks on machinery and trailers is recommended, as well as being part of the local community watch groups who often circulate information of suspicious activity in an area.
“A regular Garda presence and community engagement are needed to thwart these thieves, who are cherry picking items which people have worked hard to purchase,” he concluded.
For further information contact Michael Fitzmaurice on 086-1914565