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'I thought they were going to murder us all'

A PENSIONER has told how he feared he and his two sisters would bleed to death after they were tied up while their farmhouse was ransacked by violent robbers.

Willie Creed, 74, said he believed he and his sisters, Nora, 72, and Chrissie, 66, were going to be left to die in a locked bedroom while two men spent 90 minutes searching their home for cash in Pallasgreen, Co Limerick.

Investigating gardai were this weekend continuing to question a 27-year-old man from east Limerick following the violent attack on the siblings on May 31. The suspected assailant was seen drinking in Murroe, Co Limerick, less than 48 hours after the pensioners were hospitalised for their injuries.

Willie said he got out of bed at 10pm after hearing a disturbance.

"I walked straight into it. The very minute I opened the bedroom door they were right on top of me and knocked me to the floor. They had two butchers' knives -- the ones with the 12-inch-long blades. Both had them [knives] in their hands, and they had two pointed sticks [makeshift swords], about a foot long.

"They gave me a belt of one of them down on the head and they had the two sisters beat up and tied up," Mr Creed recalled.

"They belted Nora and Chrissie with a small stool. Nora got a belt in the back of the head. We were actually panned out. I have an irregular heartbeat and I could feel the pulse going up," Mr Creed said.

All three were tied up inside Willie's bedroom and feared they would be murdered.

"Chrissie had €5 in a note and some change in her purse -- that's all she had after the week -- so they took the €5 note and threw the change on to the floor. They dragged us into my bedroom and tied us to the leg of the bedroom table. They locked the door and went out searching around the house. They were there an hour-and-a-half.

"Eventually I opened the door of the room with a screwdriver. Luckily enough they were gone. Otherwise we would have bled to death. They were pools of blood on the floor and up on the press and on Nora's boots. The house was wrecked -- completely upside down," he said.

"Twas traumatic. I was thinking they were going to murder us all. And then you'd be thinking of neighbours -- the same thing could happen them as well. We all have to get out and about, and when you're out, then they could raid the place. They [the gang] knew everything. They had local information," Mr Creed added.

Investigations under the supervision of Detective Inspector Tom O'Connor are continuing.

Barry Duggan

Sunday Independent