Gardai in Claremorris are investigating the theft of 6 cattle from a family farm in the Shrule area last week, after the cattle were retrieved in a field 30 km away in the early hours of last Saturday morning

A gang of cattle rustlers appeared to vanish in a panic when they were challenged as they tried to hide the six valuable stolen animals they had taken from a field on Tuesday last.

The cattle  - Charolais and Limousin  were takenfrom lands owned by John and Niamh Reilly at Knocknageeha, Shrule, close to the Mayo/Galway border.

But in a mysterious and dramatic development they resurfaced on Friday night when an alert young farmer spotted suspicious activity on a roadway in another area of the county.

The driver of a cattle truck drove away and an accomplice jumped a wall and vanished after a young farmer shouted at them.

By this stage the six stolen cattle had been herded into a field where there were four Charolois, belonging to an elderly farmer who had absolutely no idea what was going on.

After being contacted by gardai by telephone around 1 a.m. John and Niamh Reilly were on the scene within a short time and were able to identify their animals in a field 30 km from their home.

Niamh told Midwest News today that the stolen cattle were worth 10,000 euro. She said they would have been at the loss if not found,  as their farm insurance policy does not cover the theft of cattle.

She said they were delighted to have the cattle back, but said their experience and the experience of the elderly farmer on whose lands the animals were found, was very disturbing.




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