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Heartless: Burglars target family as they raise funds for surgery for Zoe (2)

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Fighter: Zoe with sisters Kayleigh (12),  Brooke (11) and Teegan (9). Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Fighter: Zoe with sisters Kayleigh (12), Brooke (11) and Teegan (9). Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Fighter: Zoe with sisters Kayleigh (12), Brooke (11) and Teegan (9). Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

The family of a two-year-old girl who are fundraising for life-changing surgery for her have been the victims of two attempted break-ins.

Eamon Murphy, father of little Zoe, has now stressed that none of the money raised is kept in their home in Dundalk, Co Louth.

He and Zoe's mum Lynda last week spoke of the generosity of local people in helping them reach the halfway point in their €100,000 fundraising target, saying the response was "unbelievable".

Zoe was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and her parents have been told she will struggle to walk unless she undergoes a spinal operation in the US.

But following two attempted break-ins in recent days, Mr Murphy said they have been left feeling "paranoid".

"We can't say for definite but it's very coincidental that twice in 10 days we have two guys attempting to get in.

"Our estate is very quiet and never any word of break-ins," he said. Last week he left the house to hand out buckets for a collection and Lynda and Zoe stayed behind. Just 15 minutes after he left, two men attempted to break in.

"Lynda was in the kitchen and two guys were getting in our sliding doors from the back garden. Lynda ran, grabbed Zoe and ran out the front door and the guys we are assuming hopped a wall.

"With all the good publicity we were getting, we never once thought that we would be opening ourselves up to bad attention," he added.

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