Woman in shock after vicious second attack at her home
Published 07/02/2013 | 04:00
A businesswoman who appeared on 'The Late Late Show' to talk about crime after being attacked in a burglary has been subjected to another vicious assault.
Regina Sweeney (36), who is a personal friend of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, was tied to the stairs in her Co Mayo home, was gagged with masking tape and was hit and choked by two masked men.
They only fled when Ms Sweeney, whose late father Liam Coady was a former driver for Mr Kenny, managed to sound a panic button that she had on her, which set off an alarm and alerted gardai.
It's believed the attackers were there for about two minutes.
They rang the doorbell and Ms Sweeney opened the door to see two men standing there in balaclavas, who then led her into her home and tied her up.
She was on her own at the time in her bridal boutique business which she runs from her and her husband Declan's home outside Castlebar.
Declan is a detective garda in Castlebar. She was taken to hospital following the ordeal but was expected to be released last night.
Ms Sweeney is reported to have marks and bruising on her arms and her neck and is in shock but her physical injuries are not reported to be serious.
Gardai believe that it wasn't a random attack and that Ms Sweeney was personally targeted, although a motive is unclear.
They are appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Corheens area of Breaffy, Castlebar, to contact them on 094 9022222.
Ms Sweeney's home and business is located on a narrow cul-de-sac but there are about 20 other houses along the road, which makes yesterday's attack in broad daylight by the masked men all the more brazen.
The intruders also took a small quantity of cash from the house. Ms Sweeney spoke out after her first ordeal and appeared on 'The Late Late Show' last month in a discussion on rural crime.
In the attack on December 4 last, Ms Sweeney suffered a hairline crack of her cheekbone, bruised kidneys and a shoulder injury.
In that incident she foiled intruders and set off the alarm but in doing so was pulled back by one of the men, hit her head off a wrought-iron coat hanger and was thrown back against the stairs before passing out.
When she came to, her attackers were gone, with a substantial amount of cash.
Mr Kenny was "very upset" last night at the news.