Photographer El Keegan (26) was singled out by criminals last month who broke into her South Dublin home and stole all of her work equipment.
“Myself and my boyfriend took our dogs out to the park on a Sunday afternoon and when we came back an hour later the stuff was gone,” El explained. “I don’t know for how long, but they were definitely watching me beforehand, they had to be.”
Thousands of euro worth of El’s photographic gear was taken in the raid and the theft also meant that El was unable to work until she could borrow and subsequently replace all of the items which had been stolen.
“They went through absolutely everything, but only left with my gear,” El said. “We asked around and there had been one other break in around us a week beforehand and it was the same kind of thing; stuff had been gone through very carefully. Nobody heard anything. We think they came in over the wall of our back garden, so once they were in; they had the privacy to do whatever they liked. They knew what they were doing.”
The robbery was the third time El has experienced a break in.
“I have always lived in Dublin, so it’s something that happens, but this one was a lot harder to deal with than the others. The other times were when I was a kid or a teenager and people had gone through my stuff and I was upset but I got over it, but this was different. They came in and they stole my livelihood,” El said. “That was very hard to take, it was four years of blood, sweat and tears for me to get all of that stuff and it was just gone in an afternoon.”
“My job was gone, my work was gone and that was it. It was heartbreaking,” El added. “It made me feel very vulnerable because I think there had to be someone watching me personally. I don’t think it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel like whether I went out that afternoon or I had gone out the next afternoon instead, they were coming for me. I personally think it is a profession ring that came for me, but there is no way of telling- there were no prints and the neighbours saw nothing, so there are no leads.”