Elderly victim had just moved to town
AN ELDERLY man who was assaulted and forced to go to an ATM by his attacker had only moved into town recently.
Jim O'Connor (80), from Jubilee Street, Ballinasloe in Co Galway, had been living in the countryside outside the town until recent months.
The elderly man who lives alone was described as a "nice, quiet man" by locals.
"It's an old, traditional estate and a lot of older people live there. It's hard to believe that this could happen," said one neighbour.
Another local said Mr O'Connor was well liked in the town, adding: "He had been living out in the country but moved into town a short while ago. He lived alone but was well known in the area. He is a nice, quiet man."
The incident happened at around 2am on Saturday when a man forced his way into Mr O'Connor's home on Jubilee Street. The elderly man was assaulted before being forced to go with his attacker to a bank machine on Dunlo Street to withdraw cash.
However, a local person who was passing intervened and Mr O'Connor's assailant ran away. Mr O'Connor was taken to Portiuncula Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
He has since been released but remains shaken by his ordeal.
Later, gardai arrested a man in his 20s.
Yesterday, Niall Lynch, with an address in Ballinasloe, appeared before a special sitting of Loughrea District Court charged with aggravated burglary.
Mr Lynch was remanded in custody to appear before Harristown District Court at 11.30am on Friday, August 3.
Gardai are asking anyone who was in the Jubilee Street or Dunlo Street areas between 2am and 3am on Saturday to contact them at Ballinasloe garda station on 0909 631890.