'It's the sentimental value... it's the memories' - family devastated as heartless thieves steal late mother's jewellery
A grieving woman has issued an emotional appeal for information after thieves broke into her home and stole her late mother's jewellery collection.
Sinead Quinn from Blanchardstown in Dublin had been out for dinner with family on Wednesday night when her house was broken into.
Sinead told Liveline on RTE Radio one that she had been in the city centre with her fiancé to organise their marriage certificate for their wedding in April and to collect their rings.
To celebrate the occasion, she called her family and arranged to meet them for dinner in town.
"My fiancé and I live with my dad and my sister Aoife while we're saving for a house," Sinead told Independent.ie.
"My dad came into town to meet us but Aoife was collecting my other sister's kids from school. We were all out of the house between about 5.30 and 9pm yesterday."
However, while the family were out the house was targeted by thieves who stripped them of their jewellery collection.
According to Sinead, there was no immediate sign of a break-in and "everything seemed normal" when they arrived home. It wasn't until they were getting ready for bed that they noticed something was amiss.
"Aoife came into my room to tell me that all of her jewellery was gone. We ran into my dad's room and checked his jewellery box and all my mam's collection of rings were gone, as well as his watches.
"All of my gold jewellery was gone too."
Sinead said the robbery is especially devastating as the family had suffered a double tragedy in recent months; their mother passed away last March after an unsuccessful liver transplant and Aoife's husband died suddenly in November 2016.
"My sister's husband Desmond was Swedish. They got married in August 2014 and moved to Sweden. They'd been living there a couple of months before my mom got really sick in November," said Sinead.
"Aoife decided to come home and take care of mom. The day she flew home, Desmond brought her to the airport in the morning and she came straight to hospital.
"When she arrived we got bad news that mom was pretty bad so she tried to call Desmond to let him know but she couldn't reach him. Eventually word came through that he had passed away on his way to work that morning. It was devastating.
"And to add insult to injury the thieves stole their wedding rings, her engagement ring and other pieces belonging to Desmond."
Gardai were called to the house on Wednesday and informed the family that the kitchen window had been popped with a screwdriver.
Sinead said it was clear that the thieves were looking for gold. Her Apple Macbook had been sitting on the living room couch, while her car keys were visible and her car was parked in the driveway, but they remained untouched.
"They didn't take any of that, they didn't even touch my silver jewellery. They just wanted gold," said Sinead.
"Mom's special pieces were going to be handed down to all of us as a special token to remember her by. She was so proud of her collection. She was a really glamorous woman," said Sinead.
"She celebrated her last birthday on February 28 last year. On March 1 she was called into hospital for a liver transplant, I said that it was her 'special birthday present'. She fought so hard for a couple of weeks afterwards but unfortunately it just wasn't to be and she died on March 19.
"We're still not over her death and the robbery has just brought everything back.
"We don't care about the monetary value, it's the sentimental value... it's the memories," said Sinead.
A garda spokesman told Independent.ie: "Gardaí are investigating a burglary at a house in Ramor Park, Blanchardstown on the evening of the 10th January 2018.
"No arrests have been made, investigation ongoing."
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Sinead directly via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.