Priest tied up during second raid on parochial home in a fortnight
Published 24/03/2013 | 05:00
A priest who was tied up and robbed at his home has spoken of his ordeal.
Raiders threatened to lock Fr Patrick O'Brien in the boot of their car before they escaped with his wallet and a small amount of money last Friday night.
It was the second time in two weeks that his parochial house had been targeted after thieves broke in and stole charity money when Fr O'Brien was out.
Also, two weeks ago an elderly woman in the same village of Caherlistrane, Co Galway, had a large amount of cash taken from her home by men who called to her house offering to fix guttering.
Fr O'Brien said: "I was just watching the end of the Irish match when I heard a knock at the door. I thought it might be some one in distress looking for me.
"As I went to the door, the door opened and the four of them were there, wearing masks. They bound me up. They demanded money and I said all I had was a fiver and that was exactly what I had in my pocket.
"They literally smashed everything in the house. It was like Hurricane Katrina was through here. They smashed every inch of the place. They went through all my clothes and threw them all round the place. They found my jacket with my wallet with my cards and things and took that. They said they'd put me in the boot of their car."
Fr O'Brien said a bag of loose change collected for Trocaire was taken in the first robbery, and the priest also described how an elderly parishioner had also been targeted around the same time.
"Two men called to her house and while one engaged her in doing work to her gutters the other went in the back door and stole money she had in her bedroom. She was very distressed after," he said.
Gardai issued a description of the four men who raided Fr O'Brien's home. One was dressed in a blue tracksuit top with faded white writing on the front and jeans. Two others had dark tops with jeans and the fourth was tall and thin and wore black clothes.
Anyone with information should contact Tuam gardai or any garda station.