Elderly siblings beaten in raid
Growing fear over rise in rural burglaries
THREE elderly pensioners who live in the family home where they grew up are today attempting to come to terms with the violent robbery they endured there.
Apart from serious physical injuries, Willie (74), Nora (72) and Chrissie (66) Creed have been left completely traumatised after two assailants forced their way into their isolated farmhouse in Pallasgreen, Co Limerick on Thursday night.
Willie had just gone to bed when the culprits burst in and set about attacking his two younger sisters.
The elderly man bravely tried to come to their rescue, but was overpowered and severely beaten. Chrissie desperately tried to ring their brother Tom, who lives nearby, for help but the phone was taken from her and smashed as she was punched.
All three pensioners were viciously assaulted by the pair, who were wearing ski masks, before they were forced into a bedroom, tied up and had their home ransacked. When they managed to free themselves two hours later and contacted their brother Tom, he was met by an horrific scene.
"I drove up to the house, which is on a boreen. When I went in I was absolutely shocked -- all blood and mayhem. It was a scary scene. My brother was covered in blood.
"He probably made a go for one of them, but they hit him a fair bit. I don't know how many stitches he got, but his head was in a fair state.
"He got hit all over the head and arms. Poor Willie got the worst of it -- he got an awful dusting, blood everywhere."
Chrissie was left with a black eye and bruising across her face and all three siblings suffered cuts.
Detective Inspector Tom O'Connor of the Henry Street station, who is leading the investigation, described the incident as "a cowardly and heinous crime".
The farmhouse is located well off a public road and it is suspected that the culprits accessed the property via a nearby railway line or across fields. It is feared that those responsible live amongst their community or nearby.
Less than three weeks ago, up to 250 people crowded into Pallasgreen Community Centre for a meeting with senior gardai to discuss the upsurge in crime.
Across east Limerick, there is widespread fear -- especially amongst the elderly -- following a spate of armed robberies in recent months.
Tom Creed has appealed to Justice Minister Alan Shatter, saying: "We want extra patrols here but they (the gardai) are cash-strapped. They are doing what they can but there is only so much they can do. We had been on the alert watching out here -- but you can't watch everything 24/7."