A GoFundMe page set up by paramedics who tended to an older brother and sister robbed at knifepoint in Cork has raised over €10,000 in less than 24 hours.
Gerry O'Halloran (79) and his sister Mary (83) were threatened by a male intruder shortly after 7.30am on Sunday in the course of an aggravated burglary at a house on Boyce’s Street in Gurranbraher on the northside of Cork city. The thief fled the scene on foot with a sum of cash.
The pensioners were treated at the scene by paramedics. Their injuries were not life-threatening but they were left shaken by the incident.
Both were transferred to the Mercy University Hospital in Cork. Paramedics Keith Harrington and Sean Healy were so moved by what occurred that they set up a GoFundMe page online for the siblings.
Mr Harrington said that they decided to establish the page to financially assist the pensioners in the wake of the incident, saying their “life savings” had been stolen.
"They are an elderly brother and sister and have been deeply traumatised by their experience. They were held at knifepoint in their home for over an hour. They are now being treated in the Mercy hospital. It would be great if we could alleviate their financial worries at least."
Meanwhile, investigating gardaí are appealing for information and are keen to speak with anyone who was in the vicinity of Boyce’s Street or neighbouring streets between 6:30am and 9am on Sunday.
They are also appealing to road users with video footage from the Gurranabraher area between those times to make it available to them.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Gurranabraher Garda station on 021 494 6200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
It comes after separate aggravated burglaries targeting older people in the past month, with a burglary in Kildare's Celbridge leaving a 72-year-old man in serious condition, while 73-year-old Tom Niland remains in a critical condition following a separate burglary at his home in Sligo's Skreen.
Donations can be made to the fundraising effort for the Cork siblings at https://www.gofundme.com/f/life-savings-stolen-at-knifepoint.