The short days and long nights at this time of year offer ideal conditions for farmyards to be burgled.

It shouldn’t be the case but thefts are becoming an all too common phenomenon.

We can all make small improvements to our farmyard security by installing padlocks on gates or keeping valuable machinery out of sight, for example.

Steps like these can help to deter spur-of-the-moment thefts at least.

But when certain areas are being targeted by criminals on an ongoing basis, larger, more sophisticated investments are probably required.

Security gate

One interesting product that has arrived on the market this year is the mobile security system. The system was designed and manufactured by Gibney Steel Products and it is aimed at the agricultural, industrial and domestic areas. The system could be described as a mobile automatic gate which can be used to protect openings of up to 16ft.

The unit consists of a concrete block which is used for a counter-balance and a mounting point for other elements of the unit.

A range of facades including sheet metal, timber and mesh panel fencing can be used as a front for automatic gate.

According to Gibneys, the unit is fully assembled before it leaves the factory.

The company says there is no need for major groundwork to be carried out before the unit arrives or during the install.

The only work that the end user may need to complete is the setting of a small level concrete base for the unit to sit into. The unit is delivered to customers via a crane lorry which will drop the unit into place.

Once it is in the correct position, it is rawl-bolted into the ground. When the system is plugged into a power supply, the gate will operate.

The unit is controlled by remote key fobs or by phone via a text or call. In the event of a power cut, a user can manually open the unit but this can only be accomplished by unlocking the motor with a specific key.

Safety was also taken into consideration in the design. If a person or vehicle is detected, the unit will automatically stop and then travel in the opposite direction according to Gibneys.

The base model (14ft) of the mobile security system costs €2,700 excluding VAT (larger models are available). This includes two key fobs as standard.


Myretex Ltd is a small mechanical engineering business based in Cork. It imports mobile security systems from South Africa and the Netherlands and modifies these systems to suit Irish customers.

The two main products, where farmyards are concerned, are the Minibox and Roboguard, which are both mobile and battery powered.

The Minibox is designed to secure portable articles against theft. It can be machine-, wall- or stand-mounted and it has its own power source.

The Minibox and cables.

The Minibox is equipped with a special cable, available in different lengths, which is looped through or directly connected to the machine or object to be protected. According to Niall Guinevan from Myretex Ltd, the system is activated/deactivated by means of a unique key fob. When activated, if there is any break in connection or cutting of a cable, the Minibox will sound its alarm.

Removal of the Minibox will also result in the activation of the alarm.

The Minibox is fitted with a GSM module, which on activation of the alarm will call and send SMS messages to up to five telephone numbers.

  • Price: Minibox transitter and 10m cables – €795 including VAT.
  • Roboguard

    The Roboguard was developed in South Africa. “It is a dual-beam infra-red sensor which covers an arc of 110 degrees. It sends a signal to a base station which can be kept in the house or is mobile. The standard signal range is 400m but this can be extended indefinitely with transmitters. It can also be linked to the control panel of an existing house alarm,” Guinevan explained.

    He said it is possible to change between just having an alert during the day if the sensor is triggered and having a full alarm with phone alerts, floodlights, sirens, etc.

    Up to eight sensors can be used with one base-station. There is no wiring as the sensors have batteries with a three-year lifespan.

    Roboguard mobile base station.

    “The Roboguard is different to other beams because it can be adjusted to suit almost any location and eliminates false alarms which can be a problem with other beams,” according to Guinevan.


  • A Roboguard sensor and mobile base station: €825 including VAT.
  • A Roboguard sensor and interface for house alarm: €685 including VAT.
  • Additional sensors: €435 including VAT.
  • A Roboguard sensor with night/day switchbox, siren, etc: €1,350 including VAT.