Rural crime: GPS units of 13 tractors stolen in Meath 'blitz'

A survey has found that 55% of Irish Farmers are victims of theft.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

18.13 13 Feb 2024

Share this article

Rural crime: GPS units of 13 t...

Rural crime: GPS units of 13 tractors stolen in Meath 'blitz'

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

18.13 13 Feb 2024

Share this article

The GPS units of 13 tractors were stolen in an area of rural Meath last weekend, according to a local farmer.

On Lunchtime Live today, Ivan, who was one of the victims, said thieves spent an hour at his home on Saturday night while he and his family were asleep.

It comes as 55% of Irish farmers said they have experienced theft from their property, according to a survey by the Irish Farmer’s Association.


Ivan said he discovered he had been robbed on Sunday morning when he saw his tractor was missing its GPS system, which is valued between €3,000 and €5,000.

“I went and checked the cameras and they [two men] had spent about an hour opening sheds and looking here and there,” he said.

“They were robbing GPS systems from tractors and checked every tractor as cool as you like.

“They had special spanners and all with them to open the tractor up and take it out – they knew what they were at and weren’t chancers.”

Other farms

Ivan said there were other farms hit over the weekend too.

“There were 13 similar robberies within about a kilometre radius here over the weekend, from Friday through to Sunday night,” he said.

“It’s terrible to have people walking around your premises like that.

“This time last year I had a two-month-old quad bike stolen again – it was locked and in a shed but they knocked the bolt off and stole it.”

'Vulnerable places'

Journalist and farmer Darragh McCullough, who also lives in the remote area of Meath in question, said farms are “vulnerable places”.

“We can’t put up six- or ten-foot-high walls all around the farm,” he said.

“What use is CCTV if a fella comes in with a hoody on, and the Guards seem to be powerless too.

“I myself was up in the middle of the night on Saturday fretting about whether I had locked all the doors, was the tractor safe and that sort of thing.

“I have a GPS on my tractor at home which can’t be unscrewed easily which may be deterring thieves but you’d be worried that they’d butcher it out of it.”


The GPS systems are targeted out of convenience, according to Mr McCullough.

“The tractors are worth €100,000 to €200,0000 each but they are not interested in them because they can’t get the tractor in the back of their van,” he said.

“The theory is these lads are landing at Dublin Airport on a cheap flight.

“They blitz an area and then leave the country before Gardai can do anything – people are feeling powerless.

“God knows what these people are prepared to do if they encounter a person [thief].”

Mr McCullough added that his grandchildren have had sleepiness nights since the ordeal.

You can listen back here:

Main image: A tractor pulls equipment in a field. Image: Cultura Creative RF / Alamy Stock Photo

Share this article

Read more about

Dublin Airport Farmers GPS Systems Gardai Irish Farmers Association Lunchtime Live Rural Crime Theft Tractors

Most Popular