Tuesday 21 October 2014

Eoin Reddan's father managed to free himself from cable ties and rope - after armed robber stormed his home

David Raleigh

Published 04/04/2014 | 13:18

Leinster rugby scrum half Eoin Reddan. Inset: His father Don
4/4/2014  Story David Raleigh.    A file photo of businessman Don Reddan , Mungret, Limerick who was assaulted in his home.    Picture:Liam Burke/Press 22

Press Release
Book on John Hunt unveiled at Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare
A new biography telling the fascinating story of the late John Hunt, medievalist and connoisseur, has just been launched (today Tuesday 12th November 2013) by Desmond OMalley at Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare. In it Brian O Connell the books author delves into the life of this charismatic character and unveils his major contribution to the art world.

In his adopted homeland of Ireland, Hunts cultural contribution was immense. His role in the restoration and furnishing of historical sites can be seen at the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and Craggaunowen visitor attractions, both in Co. Clare. The Hunt Collection containing his most favoured art treasures is housed today in the beautiful Hunt Museum in Limerick. He was an avid writer and well published author on archaeological and historical topics. 

John Hunt (1900-1976) was among a group of pioneering tastemakers who helped to reveal to the art world the largely unappreciated treasures of the medieval period. His skills as an art sleuth and his celebrated eye for objects helped to sharp the medieval collections of many of the worlds most famous art museums, from the Metropolitan in New York to the Victoria and Albert in London. 

So highly esteemed was Hunts reputation in the art world that he became the confidant of many collectors including Sir William Burrell, Philip Lehman, Robert Sainsbury, Harry Guggenheim and the Aga Khan. He was Sothebys principal advisor on medieval art for over twenty years.

Speaking at the launch of his book Brian OConnell said: It was a great honour to be able to write about this fascinating man who gave so generously to the Irish people, bequeathing most of his collection to the People of Ireland before his death.

Don Reddan was assaulted in his home in last night during a serious burglary
Conor Murray
Conor Murray

The father of Irish and Leinster rugby scrum half Eoin Reddan managed to free himself from cable ties and rope - after an armed robber struck his home last night.

Don Reddan, who owns family firm Don Reddan Insurances in The Crescent, O'Connell Street, Limerick, was targeted in his home last night by at least one armed and masked man.

He then raised the alarm at a neighbour's house shortly before 1am.

The widower has five sons including Irish and Leinster rugby star Eoin Reddan.

The scrum half -- who has 53 caps for his country and has played for Munster, Wasps and Connaught -- was due to fly to France today with the Leinster squad in preparation for their Heineken European Cup clash with Toulon in the Stade Felix Mayol on April 6.

Gardai have appealed for information after the businessman was tied up and robbed in his home last night.

Mr Reddan, 74, was at his home, located in the town land of Ballycummin near Raheen, Limerick, when a lone robber armed with a pick axe entered the house at around 10:30pm last night.

Gardai have described the incident as a "serious aggravated burglary".

Mr Reddan -- who underwent major heart bypass surgery last year -- was tied up for at least two hours in his home. Gardaí said their investigation was "in its early days".

The resilient businessman

Despite his traumatic night neighbour's said he was still considering flying to France to watch his son's team perform.

According to Mr Reddan's neighbour, Bernadette Campbell, the widowed pensioner was "roughed up" but not seriously injured in the incident.

"It's desperate. God love him. No one deserves that. Anyway, he's a great man. He was fairly shaken last night but that's understandable. But you'd be worried about him on account of his heart," she said.

"He's not long after a bypass operation, about a year or so ago," Ms Campbell explained.

She added: "It's terrible. They did (rough him up) yeah. It could have been very very serious. If he hadn't been able to free himself, it would have been extremely serious."

"Sure, god love him, he's a great neighbour. Geraldine (his wife) was a lovely lady, Lord rest her soul."

Ms Campbell said Mr Reddan lived alone.

Hitting out at criminals who set upon vulnerable people, she said: "Isn't it a sad society when you can't live out your days (in peace) in the home that you love. Naturally you would be completely shocked. It was very serious for anyone to come into your house like that at night."

"I didn't notice a thing," she said, "not a thing". "It was about half past 10. They had a pick axe or something like that. There was only one person as far as (Don) can make out."

She described Mr Reddan as "fairly steady" despite the frightening events at his home where he has lived for more than 30 years.

Ms Campbell said the house was robbed two years ago, but the Reddans were out at the time.

"It's one thing if you are out and about when your house is robbed, but to actually be terrorised in your own home is really a very bad reflection on society. It's very cruel. (Don) was very shocked alright," she said.

However, she added: "He's very resilient. I think it must be part of that rugby scene. It must be the Reddan genes. They're all hardy and battlers. If it was me, I think I would have died on the spot."

"I'm shocked myself. We are all human and I just can't understand how someone could do that to another person."

"It's very tough. It would be alright, even if there was someone there (for Don) to soften the blow but he had to go back in (his house) at night and close his own door...you're going to have to be haunted aren't you?," Ms Campbell said.

Gardai said the robber was armed with a "weapon", and "not a gun".

Detectives are investigating several lines of enquiry, including that the man was acting with others who may have been waiting in a car nearby.

Mr Reddan was the only person in the house when the robber gained entry through a rear side door at around 10.30pm.

A Garda scenes of crime unit has conducted a forensic technical examination of the house, which is situated in a rural setting on the Old Limerick to Patrickswell Road, about 3km from Limerick City.

A Garda spokesman said Mr Reddan was admitted to University Hospital Limerick as a precaution following his terrifying ordeal, but was not seriously injured.

"He was discharged from hospital at 5am this morning. We have yet to talk to him. I believe he is resting up at the moment," said a source.

A "small sum of money" was taken in the robbery, Gardai said.

"There was a serious incident, a serious crime, in the townland of Ballycummin near Raheen. It was an aggravated burglary. If anybody can offer us assistance we would be very grateful," said a Garda spokesman.

Gardai said the assailant was wearing "dark clothes" and his "face was covered" with a balaclava.

"We are appealing to people who may have noticed any suspicious activity or suspicious car activity in the area or near the man's house to contact us," the Garda source added.

The critical times Gardai are appealing for information on, are between 10.30pm last night and 12.30am this morning.

An investigation room has been set up at Roxboro Road Garda station.

"Gardai at Henry Street received a 999 call (from a third party) and alerted Roxboro Road Garda station. We are appealing for information. It was a serious crime," the Garda added.

Roxboro Road Garda station can be contacted on 061-214340.

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