A manhunt is underway after a frail 96-year-old woman was punched in the ribs during a robbery at her home. She has been named locally as Margaret 'Greta' Lilly.
The terrified woman awoke in the early hours of yesterday morning to find two burglars in her bedroom at her Co Donegal home. The attackers, who were wearing balaclavas, punched the woman in the ribs before gagging her so she could not scream.
The pair then searched the woman's home, taking her handbag which contained some money and some bank cards.
The elderly woman, who lives in Aghilly, Buncrana, managed to alert gardai by using a 24-hour panic button at around 12.30am.
She was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital, where she is being treated for her injuries, which are understood not to be life-threatening.
The entire community of Buncrana and Co Donegal has been left disgusted and outraged by the assault.
Local TD Padraig MacLochlainn, who lives very close to the victim, said he was appalled by the attack.
"All I can call these people is scumbags. To attack a 96-year-old woman in her home and to punch her is the lowest of the low.
"This house is just on the edge of town and is directly across the road from a housing estate of 50 houses where I live – so it is not rural Donegal. I would suggest that whoever did this knew what they were at and who they were targeting," he said.
The Sinn Fein deputy said gardai had been making door-to-door enquiries yesterday morning as part of their manhunt.
"The gardai have been very active on this investigation and I would appeal to anyone who might have seen these people hanging about to contact the gardai.
"These scumbags need to be brought to justice and people must be allowed to sleep soundly in their houses," he said.
The two attackers wore dark clothing and are understood to have spoke with local accents.
Gardai believe the men got into the house through the kitchen window. They are carrying out a full forensic investigation into the crime.