Gardaí are progressing with strong leads following an arson attack on an Offaly dairy farm last November, according to Ruairí O’Neill.
However, Ruairí, who farms with his father Eugene and his siblings, said that “unfortunately we’re still at speculation”.
The O’Neills’ 80-cow dairy farm at Clonmore, Clonbollogue, was set ablaze in the early hours of 27 November last and it is understood that some €500,000 worth of damage was done.
The farm’s milking robot, other equipment and machinery including a zero grazer, combine, combi-baler and a plough were damaged in the blaze.
Speaking this week to the Irish Farmers Journal, Lorraine O’Neill, Eugene’s wife, said that the family believes those responsible were in the yard for at least two hours.
“They deliberately avoided and took out our cameras and went so far as to move straw to ignite the blaze.
“They could have been in and out in minutes but really took their time. It was very sinister.”
The family has been appealing for information to track down the arson attack culprits since the incident.
Lorraine said: “You can never have too much information”, adding “with any information or snippets, even if it seems insignificant, you’ll never regret sharing it”.
Both Ruairí and Lorraine thanked their wider community, including the GAA, for all the support in helping the family overcome the impact of the attack on their farm, as well as for responding to the information appeal.
Lorraine said tracking down the culprits will be “for the community” as elderly neighbours have been terrified knowing this could happen in their rural area.
Anyone with information, including anyone with dashcam footage from the time, is asked to contact gardaí in Tullamore on 057-932 7600 or 1800 666 111.