Farmer urges vigilance after latest sheep theft

GARDAÍ investigating the theft of a number of sheep in separate incidents in the county have said they are satisfied they are not connected.

In the latest theft, seven ewes and 14 lambs were stolen from land at Knockybrin just outside Letterkenny, sometime between Sunday, April 9 and early on Saturday, April 15. It’s the second time in the last four months that sheep were taken out of the farm.

John Russell, the farmer whose sheep were stolen, said he received a call on Saturday morning as some of his ewes were spotted on the lane of his farm, instead of in the field.


“I went straight up and I was met with seven ewes and 13 lambs on the lane coming down to meet me. I put them into the field and noticed the gate at the very top was open.

“There is a big loop rope on the gate, it is easily opened but it has to be opened by someone for the sheep to get out,” he said.

While John was in the field he noticed one of his cows appeared to be lame, he left to get an injection for the cow and on his return it was only then he began to wonder where the rest of his sheep were.

“I took a run around the farm and there was no sheep at all on the farm. Everything was gone.

“Somebody had obviously taken the seven ewes and the lambs.

“We looked for tracks but it was very hard to see, there had been a lot of rain which got rid of any tracks there was,” he said.

The ewes stolen are mostly Suffolk cross and Texel or Charollais lambs. The ewes and lambs have blue numbers on their side, and are numbered from 18 up to the 40s. The ewes also have black on their backs.


Unfortunately, John said when sheep are stolen the chances of getting them back are very slim.

“We put sheep up to the same farm in November, we scanned them in January and there were 12 ewes missing at that stage.

“There is a neighbour of ours who was missing five ewes in November as well, around the same time as ours had gone missing.

“We are just taking measures now to prevent this happening in the future. It is a sad state when things come to that,” he said.
As a result of this, John has urged the public to be vigilant.

“If you see jeeps or trailers about at night, keep an eye on them, it is not just farmers out at that time of night,” he said.
Meanwhile, investigations remain ongoing into the theft of 40 sheep last month from the Largybrack area of Glencolmcille. The theft occurred between Thursday, March 12 and Sunday, April 2.

A garda spokesperson told the Donegal News: “No arrests have been made at this time. Investigations are ongoing.”
Twenty-four livestock reported stolen from a farm in Ballyboe, St Johnston, between Wednesday, February 15 and Monday, February 20, were all located in a neighbouring field.

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