A PENSIONER was tied up and beaten during an aggravated burglary which is the 20th of its kind in the past four weeks.
Gerry McDevitt was attacked by the gang of three men at his home in Glenties, Co Donegal, before they escaped with a shotgun and €1,000 in cash.
The Garda’s armed Regional Response Unit is hunting the trio who beat up the elderly man on Thursday night.
Neighbours said that Mr McDevitt suffered cuts and bruises after he was tied up by the gang during the incident.
They added that the pensioner was “absolutely traumatised” after the incident.
It is the 20th aggravated burglary in Donegal in the past four weeks.
Mr McDevitt had also been attacked eight weeks ago, but burglars fled empty-handed when they were disturbed by a taxi driver.
“He’s badly shaken,” said one neighbour. ”He has been traumatised by what has happened to him and while the cuts and bruises will heal, the mental scars of such an incident will never go away.”
Now, a campaigner who helped raised €10,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest of burglars has called on soldiers to take on the gangs to back up over-stretched gardai.
“I have huge admiration for our Defence Forces, but the Government must let them out to patrol our towns and villages,” said Tony Morning, who is from Manorcunningham where many of the attacks on elderly people have taken place.
“They (the soldiers) are left in the barracks in Finner Camp (Ballyshannon) to play snap and tig. I have nothing against the lads in the army – it’s the Government who need to get their act together.
“I know the guys in the army would be more than happy to help protect their elderly neighbours, but the order must come from the Government.”
“The Gardai don’t have the resources, but the army do and the Government should be instructing them to do it,” he added.
Garda Inspector Denis Joyce has urged anyone with information about the incident to contact gardai.
He wants anyone who saw any suspicious activity between 6pm and 9pm in the station road area of Glenties to call 074 955 1108.