CALLOUS thieves tried to break into the home of an elderly widow only hours after she was fatally injured in a car crash.
Friends of Mary Carroll (83), pictured, said they were appalled at the attempted break-in and believe the thieves chose her home at Kiltoom, Co Roscommon, because they knew she was seriously ill in hospital.
"She wasn't even cold when they broke in," said neighbour and local councillor Paddy Kilduff.
"It's too good to be true that a burglar just happened to arrive the night she died. But that's the way the world is -- vicious."
Mrs Carroll, who lived alone and had no children, was returning home from a shopping trip when she lost control of her car and crashed into a wall less than two miles from her house at 5pm on Tuesday.
Neighbours rushed to her aid and she was taken by ambulance to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, where she died from her injuries later that night.
A friend called to the house at around 8am yesterday to take care of her dog and discovered windows had been broken.
"People were shocked to hear about how she died, and they were very peeved today to hear about this. The guards were appalled that someone would break in on the night she died," said Mr Kilduff.
"They broke windows, but we're not sure if they got in or not. There was no money for them to get. Her dog was inside, he's a big sheepdog, so he might have frightened them off.
"She was very independent. She'd rarely stay at home at night, she'd go rambling to other people, or they would visit her."
Meanwhile, gardai in Mayo are investigating the death of an elderly pedestrian who was hit by a truck.
She was named locally as Kate Kelly, a single woman in her 80s, from Ballyheane, Castlebar.
Ms Kelly was walking on the N84 Ballinrobe to Castlebar road around 1pm when she was hit by the truck in the townland of Aughadrinagh, two miles from Castlebar. Weather conditions were poor at the time with heavy rain.
Local people said Ms Kelly regular walked the road to do her shopping.