Sunday 20 August 2017

'Burglars must be made to wear electronic tags' - says councillor

'We are shocked that someone could attack a man that age' - says local after vicious home burglary in Tipperary

Gardai at the house of Jimmy Campion who was injured in an aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardai at the house of Jimmy Campion who was injured in an aggravated burglary in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. Photo: Mark Condren

Ryan Nugent, David Raleigh and Conor Feehan

Burglars should be electronically tagged so gardaí know where they are at all times, according to a Tipperary councillor - after the "most vulnerable" man in Roscrea was attacked and robbed in his home.

Jimmy Campion (94) is recovering in hospital with head injuries following the attack, with neighbour Margaret Ryan (81) saying it's difficult to know what Mr Campion and his wife Maura (87) are going through.

"You don't realise it yourself, until it happens to you. I feel so sorry for them. Everyone was ringing me today, to see if I was OK," Ms Ryan said.

"There's no gardaí around any more.

"They used to patrol the roads when there was no crime," she added.

Her husband, Rody, has called for further security measures to be brought in to prevent future incidents.

"What they could do is put in some security cameras, they don't cost too much," he said.

Local councillor Eddie Moran said "anyone caught breaking into a person's home, or, who interferes with elderly people like this, should be electronically tagged".

Standing outside the house and trying to take in the level of violence used against the couple was Margaret Doyle, secretary of the Roscrea Active Retirement Association.

"My first reaction was shock, and then anger. Violent crime does not happen in Roscrea, at least it didn't before now. Is this going to be the new norm from now on?" she asked.

"When people get caught then they just get a slap on the wrist. The politicians need to step up. Roscrea is now the forgotten town between Laois and Offaly," said Ms Doyle.

Retired postman John Gleeson (80) said there is a fear in the town among the elderly since the attack.

"The man is a proper gentleman, and she is a lovely woman. We are shocked that someone could attack a man that age. There is no respect any more," he said.

Kieran Moloney worked with Mr Campion at the Roscrea meat factory for more than 15 years and described him as the most "inoffensive man".

"His family would have been all the very same, so they couldn't have picked on a more vulnerable man," he said. "He'd only look after his wife there."

Irish Independent

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