Roscommon burglary victim (93) is 'undaunted', says son

Richie Farrell said his mother is a "formidable individual" and is determined to keep going after the traumatic ordeal
Roscommon burglary victim (93) is 'undaunted', says son

Vivienne Clarke

A 93-year-old woman who was the victim of an aggravated burglary in Co Roscommon is "undaunted and refuses to be intimidated", according to her son.

Una Farrell's son, Richie, told RTÉ Radio's Today with Claire Byrne show that his mother and two brothers were "coping very well" after the incident in Ballintubber during the early hours of Monday morning.

On Tuesday, gardaí said a gang of up to six masked men broke into the business premises which is attached to the Farrell's home.

During the course of the incident, Ms Farrell and her two sons were held hostage in a room while the gang ransacked the property.

"They're fine, they're shaken, not stirred as we say. It's a very unfortunate, very unsavoury, very unpalatable thing to happen in a decent society," Mr Farrell said.

Speaking of his mother, he added she is "of that generation that get up, dust themselves off and go again".

"The violation of the public house, as such, fills her with a lot of sadness. She has little time for the people who behave like that.

"She called them filth and cowards, and they had no business doing what they did."

During the burglary, one of Ms Farrell's sons, a man aged in his 60s, was assaulted, however, gardaí confirmed he did not require medical attention.

Mr Farrell said his brother was pushed, kicked and dragged when the group of men "rushed" the premises when he was locking up around 12am.

It was a traumatic thing to happen

"They rounded up my brother who was down visiting from Dublin from his room, brought them into my mother's room - my mother was in bed at the time, but the commotion woke her as far as I know," Mr Farrell, who was not present on the night, explained.

He added the men used "nylons" from the drawers to tie up the Farrells, and were armed with "screwdrivers and objects like that".

"The language was foul, they were hyper. My brother said they were looking for the cash and the cigarettes and stuff that were on the premises and the business while the other two were ransacking the house as well," Mr Farrell said.

"It was a traumatic thing to happen. Criminality and violence has always been around and there are different levels of robberies and break-ins.

"Aggravated burglaries are a different thing entirely and there are a lot of these gangs and robberies taking place around the country.

"The shop would be isolated as such - it's a crossroads, but you wouldn't be any further away than 10 minutes from the main artery going to Dublin or Westport.

"(The gangs) are fairly mobile, fairly professional, very organised. They know how far the Garda stations are," Mr Farrell said.

Despite the shock, Mr Farrell said his mother is determined to keep going, adding: "There's no hand-wringing and saying we are victims.

"The shop will be open and it won't affect her like that. She's a formidable individual."

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more