A dairy farmer from Carlow is being woken at all hours during the night by trespassers on her land, who claim that they are lamping rabbits.
Ashleigh Fennell, Palatine, Co Carlow, told the Irish Farmers Journal that for the last year she has been disturbed on countless occasions by people trespassing on her land in the middle of the night.
She said that even if these people were genuinely lamping rabbits, she has found them to show a blatant disregard for her property and livestock.
“I woke up one morning to milk the cows. After I had finished, I went out to the field and noticed the cows were dispersed everywhere.
“Whoever had been in the night before had left a 15ft gate open and had moved all the gap handles that were separating out the paddocks,” she said.
Fennell has since installed cameras in her yard and motion-sensor lights to try to deter the trespasser(s).
“One night on the calving camera, I could see a floodlight at the end of the yard.
“I hopped out of bed and chased them down through the fields. They hopped a ditch into a neighbouring farmer’s land.
“When I confronted them, they claimed that they were just lamping rabbits and hadn’t been up near my yard or on my land at all,” she said.
They were terrorised by the loose dog
Just this week, Fennell saw a light coming from the paddock adjacent to her house, where she saw another man wandering with his dog off a lead.
“I have a few sheep and goats in the nearest paddock to my house and they were terrorised by the loose dog.
“When I opened up my door to go out, the dog ran into my house,” she said.
Fennell again approached the man, who said he was lamping rabbits and got disorientated.
There are a number of gates or access points that lead to Fennell’s farm, one of which is down a lane that could be claimed as a right of way.
However, the lane historically separated two farms, but Fennell said it now leads to nowhere, other than on to privately-owned property.
Fennell said people are coming on to her land from that lane and other entrances, which are all gated and padlocked, but that doesn’t deter them.
“If it doesn’t stop, I will have to stay up and patrol my land during the night,” she insisted.
Fennell has taken note of all these incidents and will report them to the local Garda station.