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Kenny calls for explanation of role of defence forces in shooting of cattle during repossession

6 July, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking in Leinster House today, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Kenny TD said he was shocked at the news that heifers had been shot in County Monaghan during a repossession operation on a farm.

Deputy Kenny said:

“I received many calls from horrified people today, some from Monaghan and others who had seen reports on social media about what happened.

“The farming press is reporting that this action was carried out by the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane, with the approval of the Department of Agriculture and ‘cooperation of An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces’.

“This is wrong on so many levels that it is hard to know where to start. It is a cruel irony that such an action should occur during Farm Safety Week. There are reports of the farmer trying to drive cattle away while members of the defence forces were firing at them.

“I have submitted this matter as a topical issue to be discussed in the Dáil tomorrow when I will ask Minister Creed to explain the role of his Department in this and to ensure that a more humane approach is taken in future.

“Repossession of property due to bankruptcy is always traumatic but this heavy-handedness cannot be tolerated. It smacks of the bailiffs during the Great Hunger. Surely there was an alternative to killing animals when they did not fit into a trailer.

“The state has stooped to a new low it is lending its forces to impose the will of the banks in this way. I am also calling on the Ministers for Justice and Defence to explain the role of the Gardaí and defence forces in this incident.” 

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