A meeting with Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has been sought by a cohort of farmers who have been targeted by rural crime recently.

A meeting took place in north Dublin this week, which had up to 200 attendees as well as a number of local representatives and gardaí from five different stations.

Farmers on the night spoke of crimes ranging from threats, illegal hunting, trespassing, burglary, thefts of machinery, tools and high-value GPS systems to animal kills by dogs.

Last month, farmers and contractors were targeted by thieves who stole over €250,000 of GPS guidance equipment over the last 10 days.

At least 16 machinery yards from Wexford to Dublin and Meath were hit in the spree.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal IFA deputy president Alice Doyle said that the results of these crimes have left many people feeling insecure in their own homes and communities.

“This is a matter of urgency, we need to secure a date with the minister immediately on this.

“There is huge fear out there among communities. There are concerns around the huge increase in population in the north Dublin area and how growth in policing resources have not went parallel to this.

Along with a meeting with the Minister, Doyle called for the matter to be discussed at the next meeting of the joint policing committee.

A dedicated policing plan has also been called for to be drafted by An Garda Siochána in conjunction with the communities.

This would see the implementation of a Community Safety Plan for the area which reflects the goals, objectives and action of the rural safety plan, Doyle said.

Doyle hopes that state agencies collaborate on an operational basis such as An Garda Siochána, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dog Warden Service in a proactive approach to solving these issues.