Friday 22 November 2019

Cancer sufferer has passport stolen hours before flight to visit children

Porkmarnock beach in Dublin
Porkmarnock beach in Dublin

David Kearns

A woman about to undergo treatment for her cancer was forced to cancel a trip to see her children after her passport was stolen hours before her flight.

Due to fly out to Portugal to visit her children yesterday afternoon, Roisin O'Hagan has been stuck in Dublin after the Passport Office declined to issue her a temporary passport following the theft.

Emer O'Hara and Roisin O'Hagan
Emer O'Hara and Roisin O'Hagan

“The problem is that I could travel out on the police report with Aer Lingus but there’s no way I can get back in because I can’t get a temporary passport in Portugal because mine was stolen in Dublin,” she told

“If it had been during the week, I might have been able to make it out to see my kids, but with it being the weekend and not an emergency like a death, there was little the Passport Office could do.”

Deciding to take advantage of the good weather, Ms O'Hagan and her cousin headed down to Portmarnock beach for a stroll.

Away from the car for less than 30 minutes, thieves broke in and snatched their bags, safely hidden out of sight in the boot, containing Ms O'Hagan’s passport, along with medication to help with her cancer treatment.

“You’ve this plan in your head about what you’re going to do before the treatment starts and then something like this happens,” she said.

“I could do without the stress as I just wanted to get home to see the kids before I started my radio therapy on Wednesday.”

Thieves smash in the window and stole two bags from the car
Thieves smash in the window and stole two bags from the car

“Still, the children have been great, saying ‘It’s ok mammy, no worry, no stress. Get your self sorted.”

According to Ms O'Hagan, their car was the only one targeted by the thieves, thought to have struck between 2:00 to 2:10.

Parked on the main street into beach, neither noticed that it had been broken into until they were getting into it.

“When we came back to the car, we were sitting on the wall opposite it eating our 99s,” she said.

“And we didn’t notice a problem until a couple, who were sitting in front of it, got up and walk on.”

“We asked around, and the man in ice cream kiosk said this was the first time he’d heard of a break-in on the main road.”

Adding: “You only have to go into the car park and see all the broken glasses to know that it is happening in there all the time."

"We thought we were safe. It was a busy area. Our bags weren't visible – we did everything right."

"They must have been watching us. We were only gone for half an hour. But in that time, they’d enough time to assess the situation, get into the car, get the bags and get away without anyone seeing them."

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