Parents and their three children tied up by armed raiders in Limerick
THREE children were tied up in front of their parents at their home by a bungling gang of armed men who went to the wrong house.
Gardai are today conducting a major manhunt after the family were targeted by four men at the outskirts of Bruff, Co Limerick.
However, while investigations are still at an early stage, officers believed the culprits targeted the wrong home and innocent family.
The drama unfolded at 9.30pm in the townland of Ballingoola near Grange, Bruff.
The four men, who were all masked and had their faces covered, entered the rural home via the back door which was unlocked.
The two parents and three children, two sisters aged nine and six-years-old and their younger four-year-old brother, were in the house at the time.
The Herald understands that the gang of men immediately started to demand to know where a man named 'John' was. The family insisted no person by that name lived there.
The three siblings and their mother were tied up and locked inside the sitting room of the home while the father was bound with cable ties and brought to a bedroom where the questioning persisted.
He continued to inform the culprits that no person called 'John' lived there and one of the men took his phone from him.
The four armed men left the property shortly after 10pm.
The father, who was still tied up, managed to make his way to a window where he called for help from a neighbour.
The neighbour came to the family's aid and all were untied as the gardai were alerted at 10.30pm.
A major investigation in Limerick has since been launched.
The family are said to be extremely traumatised. Nobody suffered any serious injuries.
Investigating officers are working under the guidance of Supt Alan Cunningham and Det Insp Eamon O'Neill at Bruff garda station.
An incident room has been established at the station and officers held a conference there this morning shortly after 11am.
Last Thursday night, Don Reddan, the father of Leinster rugby star, Eoin , was targeted in his home by an armed and masked man.
He raised the alarm at a neighbour's house shortly before 1am on Friday morning.
The incident occurred days before his scrum half son -- who has 53 caps for his country and has played for Munster, Wasps and Connaught -- flew to France for Leinster's Heineken European Cup clash with Toulon.
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 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.