A ‘Forwarder Machine’used to extract logs has been burnt out at Sleiveanorra Forest on the Glendun Road, Cushendun, Co Antrim. The vehicle belonged to a private contractor and was burnt out between Thursday night and Friday morning. Cushendall Fire Service was tasked to the scene after the alarm was raised early on Friday.
Moyle Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane condemned what he described as ‘A spate of recent attacks on contractors working for the forestry department’.
“Several pieces of plant at the site have been vandalised and diesel fuel running into thousands of litres has been stolen from vehicles working throughout forest parks in Moyle recently.
“To replace this machine ‘second hand’ could cost as much as £150,000 and it is a pathetic action in an attempt to steal a few litres of fuel. Not only is it a direct attack on an outdoor resource in Moyle but it is a very personal attack on a private individual attempting to earn a living”.
The Councillor said the location provided a spectacular backdrop to views reaching as far as the Scottish coast and the Mourne Mountains in County Down but that it was isolated and allowed thieves to work with little chance of being detected. “The people of the Glens would be disgusted with this act of vandalism that was unreflective of the area”.
Councillor Mc Shane finished by commending the work of the local Fire Service and said;
“Given the location in the middle of a forest, it’s not hard to envisage, this incident could have been a lot worse but for the actions of those who raised the alarm and the response from the NIFRS.”