A survey of Irish farmers by the Irish Examiner and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) said that over 80% believe they should be allowed to own a gun to protect themselves and their property. This is in response to a rise in violent crime in the rural areas of Ireland and fewer Gardai (Irish national police) stationed there.
Although recorded crime fell in all other categories, prompting an expression of satisfaction by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, the farmers polled said they either slightly agreed or strongly agreed they should be entitled to own a gun to protect their family and property.
A total of 63 percent said they strongly agreed with having the right to gun ownership. Just four percent strongly disagreed with having the right to own a gun, with eight percent stating they slightly disagreed.
The issue of gun ownership and the right to protect property hit the headlines in 2004 after traveller John “Frog” Ward was shot dead by Mayo farmer Padraig Nally.
During his trial, Nally became something of a cause celebre for homeowners, arguing for the right to use force in defence of your property.
He argued that he had acted in self-defence at all times. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2005, but was acquitted after a retrial in 2006.
The survey found the farming community overwhelmingly favors gun ownership for the protection of family and property.
Of farmers who vote Sinn Fein, gun ownership got 100 percent support.
According to another story, there are 220,000 gun licenses in Ireland with the vast majority being issued for shotguns used in hunting. As I understand it, Irish law does not allow the average person to obtain a firearm for personal protection purposes though some are trying to change this.