Tuesday 11 December 2018

Canadian storm chaser robbed of 'irreplaceable' equipment 'within seconds' outside Dublin B&B

Canadian storm chaser Brad Murray
Canadian storm chaser Brad Murray
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A Canadian tourist visiting Ireland for the first time had his suitcases stolen outside a guesthouse in Dublin.

Brad Murray was in the process of checking into the Gleann Na Smol B&B in Howth on Monday with his mother and son when he was robbed.

The bags had been unattended for "90 seconds" when they were snatched.

A number of valuable items were in the suitcases, including a Go-Pro camera, Brad's personal laptop (a gold/tan colour Dell) and his iPad mini 4.

Speaking to RTE's Liveline, Mr Murray said: "Both my iPad mini and my laptop have numerous photos and videos of several people that have passed on, they're irreplaceable," he explained.

The empty suitcases were discovered later at the side of the road in Howth with Mr Murray's passport inside. He offered a monetary reward for the return of his personal items but so far nobody has come forward.

"I earn $14 dollars an hour. I work in an automotive garage, I've been doing that since 1999. I manage it and oversee it."

Mr Murray said he earns "$14 dollars an hour" managing an automotive garage in Canada. While he was keen to have his valuable equipment returned, he stressed it was the sentimental value of the photos that means the most to him.

He had been visiting Ireland for the first time for a family reunion in Newcastle, County Down and had taken a detour to Dublin on Monday when he heard that Storm Opehlia would hit Ireland.

A storm chaser in his part time, Mr Murray said it had been a great opportunity to experience to "feel the winds and feel the power of the sea" while in Howth for the storm.

He told Liveline that he has been chasing tornadoes since 2012 and hurricanes since 2016.

Explaining how he became interested in such an unusual hobby he explained: "I'm 44-years-old and I've lost 18 people. When my father passed away in 2010 he left me a little bit of money.

"I used to tell my father that he 'should go do things, see things and vacation' and he told me that money was for my children... so I just wanted to do things with my kids and I've always enjoyed the weather."

Mr Murray said that despite being robbed, his trip to Ireland was filled with "a lot of blessings".

"It was just one unfortunate incident but it didn't ruin my trip overall."

Anyone with information is asked to email contactjoe@rte.ie

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