There are that drones are being deployed by would-be burglars to stake out houses and properties, says a councillor.

The growth in unauthorised aerial drone use was condemned at a meeting of the council in Killarney, with calls for strict legislation for all drones to be introduced immediately.

Kerry County Council is to contact the Irish Aviation Authority with its concerns about unauthorised use of drones in the Killarney area.

The council itself uses drones, within appropriate guidelines, to monitor river and coastal erosion.

However, independent councillor Donal Grady, said his problem was with the “non-ideal” use of drones by private individuals.

“Drones are frightening animals and they are being used to monitor private homes,” the independent councillor said.

A month ago the councillor and his son said they spotted a drone flying around Killarney House, a State property, and followed it to a car with a Co Offaly registration, parked in a car park some distance away.

“Jarvey horses in Killarney and particularly in the Gap of Dunloe are being frightened by camera drones coming out of nowhere and flying near them,” he said.

They were also being deployed to take pictures over the Lakes of Killarney — a no-fly zone.

“The use of drones should be strictly licensed,” Mr Grady urged.

Meanwhile, 7,000 drones of 1kg and over as well as model aircraft have been registered with the Irish Aviation Authority in the past 18 months, the Irish Aviation Authority confirmed.

Legislation governing smaller aerial drones has yet to be introduced.

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