IN WHAT has been another week of rural crime in Fermanagh, a family farmhouse near Kesh has been trashed and daubed with sectarian graffiti.
The homestead on the Slievebane Road at Tedd has been in the Johnston family for four generations and although it’s unoccupied at the moment, the farm is let out to a good neighbour. It was discovered over recent days the house had been attacked. Around 13 windows were smashed, furniture was broken and thrown outside, its water tank was ripped out, and graffiti sprayed on its walls.
A member of the Johnston family told the Herald they were very upset about what had happened the home where generations had grown up.
“We’re a Protestant family, and the land is set by a Catholic family, but the scum who have done this have sprayed IRA around the place,” he said. “I think it was more wrecking, and mindless, wanton destruction, rather than sinister.”
The man, who suffers from chronic health issues, said the farmstead was located between Kesh, Ederney, Lack and Irvinestown, and was close to where three animals died in an arson attack on a farm shed building on the Killmullen Road back in October. Despite that, he said there was now little police presence in the area.
“I had spent a lot of time down there trying to keep the place right before my [illness] hit me,” he said. “You just would not see a police car ever on that road.”
Cllr John McClaughry, who is a former policeman from a farming background, said he remembered the Johnston homestead well from growing up as their families were friends, and he too was upset by what happened.
Cllr McClaughry also said he had noticed an upsurge in rural crime and believed the decline of rural police stations was contributing.
“For value for money, police are being concentrated into populated areas and that means the rural areas are not getting the attention,” he said, adding when police were in Kesh they would regularly have driven the Slievebane Road. “That’s not happening now because police just don’t have time to do it.”
Posted: 1:42 pm September 6, 2019