ELDERLY residents in the rural north Kerry village of Knockanure are now living in fear after a local man in his 80s was robbed of a substantial amount of money in broad daylight.
Some locals are linking the closure of the nearby garda station in Moyvane to Friday evening's incident, which saw the pensioner robbed by a man posing as a garda. In the course of the robbery, the perpetrator told the pensioner that he was a member of the gardaí who was carrying out a review of his security and wanted to see where he kept his money. Unwittingly the elderly victim led the well-dressed man to the area, before being robbed of what gardaí are describing as a 'substantial' sum of money.
Active community member Margaret Carmody told The Kerryman that the man's neighbours and the extended community of Knockanure are now petrified that they will be next. The feeling locally, she says, is that the robbers are well aware that there are many elderly people living alone in the area and their movements are being watched.
"People are living in genuine fear and what makes it more frightening is that it happened between 5.30pm and 6pm on a Friday evening when the village is at its quietest. We're 100 per cent sure the person responsible knew this man lived alone and knew there would be no one around at that time."
Ms Carmody said local people feel the closure of the local garda station in nearby Moyvane had a large part to play in Friday's incident.
"When we had a garda station in Moyvane there was always a garda presence here in the village and our former sergeant made sure to get to know everyone and had fantastic local knowledge. Now we are being covered by Listowel who, to be fair, have a huge area to cover so you can't expect them to be here all the time," she said. "People are now left wondering who will be the next target."