Burglaries on elderly people's homes in rural parts of the country have been condemned as "inhuman and appalling" by the justice minister.
Alan Shatter said criminals who targeted the homes of pensioners had no moral compass.
The minister hit out as gardai hunted for a five-man gang suspected of carrying out two more aggravated burglaries 20km apart in Co Donegal.
"I want to totally condemn the atrocious events of last night," said Mr Shatter.
"I think any individuals who would burglarise the homes of isolated elderly people have absolutely no moral compass of any description whatsoever.
"Individuals who would assault individuals in their homes at any age is unacceptable, but at this age is incomprehensible."
A man in his 60s was assaulted and locked in a shed when five men forced their way into his home in the townland of Linsfort in Buncrana at 7.30pm on Tuesday night and fled with cash.
Less than two hours later, an 80-year-old woman was injured when five men, believed to be the same gang, targeted her home near Muff, which is close to the border.
Several similar incidents have been reported across the country in recent weeks, including on 96-year-old Greta Lily who was punched and gagged during a raid in Buncrana and Phyllis McGee, 78, who was thrown to the ground as thieves ransacked her home near Pettigo for the second time in two months.