Sunday 30 April 2017

Socialite pair had no insurance on €1.5m heist gems

Tom Brady and Ken Sweeney

SOCIALITE couple Lisa Murphy and Gerald Kean last night admitted they did not insure the €1.5m worth of jewellery stolen from their luxury home by raiders.

Last night, Ms Murphy was recovering from her ordeal, during which four masked men, armed with a knife, left her tied to a chair in her bedroom for two hours after threatening to cut off her finger.

But she insisted that the horrific experience would not force the couple out of their home.

She was not injured but told the Irish Independent she was badly shaken and traumatised by her ordeal.

The stolen jewels included an engagement ring from her former fiance, Riverdance star Michael Flatley, and reputed to be worth around €500,000, as well as another valuable engagement ring bought for her by Mr Kean.

Also taken from the couple's safe were an array of bracelets, necklaces, brooches and earrings.

Mr Kean said jewellery belonging to his daughter, Kirsten, was also stolen.

"I am very angry with the men responsible for this," Ms Murphy told the Irish Independent last night.

"Its been a terrible thing to go through and I didn't sleep at all last night.

"But this evening I have been so lucky to have the company of close friends, who have come by to offer support."

She added: "This incident will not force either myself or Gerald to leave this house, which is our home".

Gardai believe the gang were lying in wait when Ms Murphy returned to the house at Three Mile Water in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, at 8pm on Thursday.

Mr Kean said yesterday that there was no insurance cover on the stolen jewels as they had recently completed building work on the house and the conditions required as part of the insurance policy had yet to be put in place. He also admitted that the CCTV system, which was installed around the house, had not been operational on Thursday night because of the building work.

Ms Murphy was talking to a friend on her mobile phone as she entered the house. She left the door unlocked as she intended to return to her car.

According to Mr Kean, a celebrity lawyer, she did not notice any cars as she drove up the avenue to the house.

"She turned off the alarm and as she turned around, she saw the shadow of one of four men, who immediately rushed in after her.

"They threw her to the ground and immediately tied her hands behind her back with heavy, black, nylon tape," Mr Kean added.

He said the gang started screaming at his fiancee: "Where's Gerald's ring, where's Michael's ring. At that time, one of them pulled a ring from her hand. It cut her hand. Then they took another ring from the other hand".

Ms Murphy was wearing a Cartier bracelet at the time but when they tied her up, they pushed the bracelet up her sleeve without noticing it.

He said the gang cleaned out the contents of the safe and were gone within five to six minutes.

Mr Kean told the Irish Independent: "I was in Dublin at a function and hadn't been able to get Lisa on the phone. I kept ringing and ringing. I just really felt something was up.

"Eventually I got so worried I drove out home to Wicklow. I got there about 9.55pm. Lisa's car was there.

"Immediately I got in, I heard her shouting and I thought, 'Oh my God, there has been an accident. But I found Lisa tied up in our bedroom, her hands and legs quite firmly tied.

"They stole all her jewellery and they had threatened to cut off her finger if she didn't tell them where the safe was and open it up for them," he added.

Mr Kean said the gang held a knife to her neck and told Ms Murphy that they could "do things the hard way and that it was her choice.

Code

"She gave them the code of the safe and then they threw her on the ground and one of them hit her on the head with the back of his hand when she tried to look at him," the solicitor said.

The four men were wearing balaclava helmets and khaki clothing and were in their late 20s or early 30s. Ms Murphy believed they spoke with "country" accents.

Last night, gardai appealed to any potential witnesses who were in the Three Mile Water area between 7pm and 9pm on Thursday to contact them at 0404-60140, the garda confidential line on 1800-666111, or through any garda station.

Immediately after the alarm was raised, gardai patrolled the area to find a likely getaway vehicle while search teams combed the surrounding countryside throughout yesterday.

Technical experts were also called in to examine the house, particularly the bedroom where Ms Murphy was tied up.

Gardai said the gang did not ransack the rest of the house and were focused solely on the safe.

Irish Independent

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