Donegal homes cut off by phone cable thieves

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Homes in County Donegal have had their telephones cut off after thieves stole hundreds of metres of copper cable.

300m (984ft) of cable was stolen from poles on the old Letterkenny Road in Newtowncunningham, and 425m (1394ft) was taken from Muntertinny in Raphoe.

Phone company Eircom said it would cost 6,000 euros (£5,191) to repair.

Fianna Fáil councillor Paul Canning said about 20 homes were affected.

"This was a big operation. It would have taken maybe two or three men to take the cable down off the pole.

"These cables are about an inch thick and fairly heavy, and they're overhead cables so they would need some form of ladder to get up at them or to stand on top of a van.

"For what they get for the scrap value, and when you consider the damage they've done, it just doesn't make sense."

Sinn Féin councillor Jack Murray said people should be on the lookout for anyone selling stolen cable.

"Many elderly people in south Inishowen who do not have mobile phones are now unable to contact family members, doctors and other emergency services.

"These people who are stealing these phone lines are making profit from it somewhere and I would ask anyone with information to come forward immediately," he said.

One resident said: "On Saturday the broadband went off, and then the phone.

"They say it could be five to ten days that we're without it."

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