Anger as callous thieves steal van for disabled girl (7)
A MOTHER has spoken of her devastation after thieves stole a van used to transport her disabled daughter while the family slept.
Mum-of-three Marlis Flood said she felt "sick to my stomach" after waking up to discover that the specially-modified car worth €15,000 -- which she uses for her daughter Caoimhe -- had been robbed.
Her seven-year-old was born with cerebral palsy and is quadraplegic requiring 24-hour care.
Ms Flood explained how she was in the care of a night nurse when thieves broke into their house in the middle of the night and stole both of their cars.
As well as stealing the Volkswagen Caddy along with her partner's Volvo, they also stole her children's laptops, their iPads and their handheld games.
She and her partner Tony were sleeping in their house in Kingswood in Tallaght at the time, alongside their other two children Sean (11) and Aoife (5).
"I'm just sick, it's a horrible violation," she said.
"The fact that my daughter and the night nurse were downstairs at the time of the robbery is the worst thing.
"What would have happened if the nurse had disturbed them? It doesn't bear thinking about."
She woke up about 7.30am yesterday and said she looked out the sitting room window and realised their two cars were gone.
"You could have picked me up off the floor. My whole world was just devastated then, I couldn't believe it," she continued.
Thieves had broken into her house at approximately 2.15am yesterday and ransacked the ground-floor of the house, stealing both car keys and other electronic items.
Their next door neighbour had seen both cars being driven off around 2.30am but had assumed they were just bringing Caoimhe to the hospital.
Gardai were called to investigate and say they believe the robbers used a screwdriver to break into the front door.
The alarm wasn't on at the time as the night nurse and Caoimhe were downstairs.
Now Marlis said her "lifeline is gone" and she has no way of bringing her daughter to the hospital if she has a sudden seizure.
She made an appeal on the Ryan Tubridy Show for anyone with information on what happened to contact gardai in Tallaght.
She described the stolen van as a grey in colour and bearing the registration number 07-D-74245.
"I'm in bits to be honest, I was crying when I realised what happened as we rely on the car so much for day-to-day living. Hopefully, someone knows something about what happened and we're not going to find it burnt out," she added.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have offered to give the Flood's a replacement vehicle until their own is recovered.