A FATHER died from a heart attack hours after giving chase to a thief.
The death of Robbie Dean (41), a stepfather of four, has been described as "very, very tragic".
Mr Dean attempted to stop a mugger who stole his partner Joan's handbag from her car parked outside the family home in Forest Drive, Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, in Dublin.
He chased the thief for some distance before the man dropped the handbag on the snow-and-ice-covered street. However, the thief had managed to steal the purse from inside the bag.
The thief then continued on foot through the Kingswood Heights housing estate.
Mr Dean, a staunch Liverpool football fan, then returned to the family home where he felt unwell.
It is understood he went up to bed around half-an-hour later, where he died in his sleep from heart trouble.
Gardai confirmed they are investigating the handbag-snatching incident, which occurred at around 6.30pm on January 8.
Officers have appealed for any witnesses in the Kingswood Heights area of Tallaght who may have noticed the incident, or anything unusual on the evening, to contact them.
Hundreds of family and friends turned out for his funeral on Wednesday, January 13, at St Kilian's Church in Kingswood. Mr Dean leaves behind his partner Joan; his four step-children Stephen, Sharon, Katie and Siobhan; and his parents, John and Rita.
Mr Dean's partner, Joan, is still too upset to talk about the tragedy.
Parish curate Fr David Halpin said Mr Dean came across as a "really, really lovely man".
"He was a very good family man," Fr Halpin said, adding he had been friends with many of the neighbours in the area the couple had lived in for the past 10 years.
South Dublin Mayor Mick Duff described local thieves as "scurrilous people" who were not interested in making any useful contributions to society.
"People will react. You just want to protect your own property," said Mr Duff. "It is a tragic outcome for somebody who was just trying to protect his partner's possessions."