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Thursday 18 September 2014

Disabled girl (7) goes into care after customised van stolen from home

MELANIE FINN

Published 22/03/2014 | 18:55

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Marlis Flood with her children Sean (11) , Caoimhe (7) in wheelchair, Aoife (5)

The disabled daughter of a woman who had the van she used to take of the girl stolen has gone into short-term care.

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Marlis Flood was horrified to discover that thieves had broken into her home in Tallaght while her family slept upstairs.

Among the items stolen was a €15,000 Volkswagen Caddy that she used to transport her daughter Caoimhe (7), a quadraplegic with cerebral palsy.

Ms Flood she said she hasn't been the same since the robbery, describing it as a "horrible violation".

"Caoimhe senses all the stress and just hasn't been in the best of form since this happened," she said.

"She's had to go into respite for a few days just to give me a break.

"She normally goes to Suzanne House three days a month as it's only a small facility in Tallaght village but they offered to take her for me until Thursday."

The theft happened in Kingswoodon Tuesday, March 11, at around 2.15am.

Ms Flood and her partner Tony were sleeping in the house at the time, alongside their other children Sean (11) and Aoife (5).

Caoimhe, who requires 24-hour care, was being looked after in her downstairs bedroom by her night-nurse.

Ms Flood added: "The nurse is still pretty shaken up by it, too.

"We've changed the locks, of course, but it's just the 'what ifs' that make it worse."

As well as stealing the Volkswagen Caddy along with her partner's Volvo, the robbers alsotook her children's laptops, their iPads and their handheld games.

She said that when the incident happened, the family were also robbed of their peace of mind and said that none of them have been the same since. She described the stolen van as their "lifeline" as Caoimhe would be house-bound without it.

They would also have no way of bringing her to hospital if she had a seizure.

The family have been supplied with a temporary vehicle by Volkswagen but Ms Flood said that it was only insured for a week so will have to ask the company to extend it.

She added how they've received no news in the wake of their appeal for information last week. "Everyone's been asking me if I've heard anything at all but there's been nothing.

"I'm going down to the garda station today to see if there's any updates," she added.

The stolen van is grey in colour and bears the registration number 07-D-74245.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the gardai in Tallaght.

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