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Milked Dry Offaly farmer 'disheartened' after thieves robbed and vandalised milk vending machines

Paul Molloy has been forced to temporarily close his Boora Bainne project, which he operates from his farm in Boora, Co. Offaly, as a result of the incident

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One of the milk bottle machines on the farm which was robbed

One of the milk bottle machines on the farm which was robbed

One of the milk bottle machines on the farm which was robbed

An Offaly farmer has been left devastated after two milk bottle machines on his farm were robbed and vandalised last night.

Dairy farmer Paul Molloy has been forced to temporarily close his Boora Bainne project, which he operates from his farm in Boora, Co. Offaly, as a result of the incident.

Just after midnight last night, two men entered the shed where the vending machines are kept and forcibly attempted to take cash from the units.

Paul told sundayworld.com that the thieves seemed to be familiar with the shed as they reached in to pull down the security camera before continuing the burglary.

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The men broke into a shed housing vending machines before trying to rob them

The men broke into a shed housing vending machines before trying to rob them

The men broke into a shed housing vending machines before trying to rob them

“They knew where the internal camera was because they put their hand in and pulled it down before they went in, so they’d obviously been there before,” he said.

“Then they tried to break into the two vending machines to try and get the coins out. The machine that they robbed doesn’t even take coins. There’s a sign on it saying Card Only.

“They weren’t able to get into it but they left it in a state that can’t be repaired. Overall, they probably did about €15,000 worth of damage.”

The Boora Bainne project officially launched in July this year, and Paul said that the response over the last few months has been “crazy.”

“It was just a small lockdown project to sell a bit of milk directly,” he explained.

“It probably got bigger than I anticipated – I thought it would just be a local thing, selling milk to local people, but I have people travelling from every county to get milk. It’s kind of crazy how well it took off.”

Paul said that he is extremely “shocked” by the incident but added that he has received tons of support from the local community after sharing photos of the damage on social media.

“It’s disheartening after a year’s work has been put in. We’ve been working day and night trying to build up the business, putting in the hours and for someone to just come in and do that, to go away with a float isn’t nice.

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“I’m just shocked by it, that someone would do it for such little gain.

“My phone is just ringing constantly with phone calls from people that I don’t even know just ringing me saying, ‘Sorry for what’s happened.’ There’s a lot of support.”

A garda spokesperson confirmed that the incident is currently being investigated, saying: “Gardaí are investigating an incident of burglary that occurred at premises near Tullamore, Co. Offaly on the 7th October 2021 at 12.19am.

“The building was damaged and a sum of cash was taken from the premises. No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing.”

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