Claims illegal hare hunters threatening to burn houses and cars of Kerry landowners

Kerry landowners are being threatened with having their house or car burned by illegal hare hunters.

That’s according to Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, who was speaking in the Dáil about the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality’s Report on Community Policing and Rural Crime.

Deputy Martin Ferris says there are people hunting at night with lurchers without the permission of landowners, and if anybody confronts or challenges them, they’re threatened.

He says the threats include having his or her house or car burned, or worse.

The Sinn Féin TD says there’s a fear factor and it’s difficult to get anybody to make a statement because if a person does, he or she will become a target.

Deputy Ferris has raised this issue on previous occasions, saying it’s his belief some instances of illegal hare hunting are intelligence gathering operations with the intent to carry out burglaries.

He says concerned landowners say hunters are trespassing on private lands and using lurchers to hunt and kill an already scarce hare population.