Gardaí has issued an appeal for information after bales, to the value of €27,000, were set alight in a field.
The fire occurred in a field in the Cornstown area of Ashbourne on Sunday, September 5th, 2021.
Bales set alight
In a statement, a spokesperson for Dunboyne Gardaí, investigating the suspected case of arson, said:
“At approximately 6.55 pm, Gardaí and Meath Fire Service attended a fire, whereby a large number of bales had been set alight, resulting in a substantial amount of damage and a loss of €27,000 for the owner.”
“Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area at the time and who may have video footage, including dashcam, to contact Ashbourne Garda Station on 01-8010600 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.”
‘Whole stack gone in a minute’
David O’Donoghue of Glassmerry Agri Services is a family-run business specialising in purchasing straw for baling and distribution.
He told The Meath Chronicle: “On Sunday evening just gone at 6.55 pm, we got a call to say that there were teenagers at the stack up on top of it.”
“During [the] course of [the] same phone call, the man on the phone said they are just after lighting it on fire.”
“The whole stack was gone in about a minute. That was 450 bales at a value of €60/bale; it was €27,000 worth of straw.”
“It is an absolute miracle that these youngsters were not killed. When the straw lit, it lit up that fast they just decided to get off the back of it.”
“They were 24 feet up in the air and had to try and come down from that height before they got burned.”
He told the publication that he had just returned from a similar incident in Ratoath where “kids had set fire to loose bales”.
“We are trying to make sure that this does not become the norm and so people can understand the financial loss,” he concluded.