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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Man (93) is stabbed three times in his own home by raider who asked for glass of water

Stock photo
Stock photo

Sorcha O'Connor, Robin Schiller and Elaine Keogh

A 93-year-old man was stabbed three times after he was approached by a man asking for a glass of water in a horrific attack in broad daylight.

The pensioner was in the greenhouse in his garden on Saturday afternoon when the thug first arrived.

It is understood he was initially asked for a glass of water. As the elderly homeowner went into his house to get the drink, he was then asked for money.

The suspect attempted to gain entry to the house but the pensioner managed to fend him off.

He was then stabbed three times, including in the arm and abdomen. The attacker fled.

Gardaí were alerted to the incident at Sandy Lane, Blackrock, Co Louth, at around 2.50pm on Saturday.

The elderly man was rushed by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

He underwent emergency surgery and was yesterday said to be in a stable condition. President Michael D Higgins visited him in hospital while in Louth for the Fleadh.

Gardaí arrested a suspect later on Saturday.

A 30-year-old man remained in custody in Dundalk garda station yesterday in connection with the incident. He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. He is a local criminal known to gardaí for minor offences.

It is understood the victim lives in the house with his wife, both of whom are keen gardeners. They also have family living nearby. Prayers were said for the injured man at Mass in the village yesterday.

Chairperson of the Dundalk Joint Policing Committee, Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Kelly, described the attack as "absolutely appalling".

"It is so scary that it could happen at 3pm in the day. My thoughts are with his family and I wish him a speedy recovery. Hopefully those responsible will be brought to justice," he said.

It was the second time in recent months that the elderly have been the victims of crime in the village. In April, two men armed with a knife, hatchet and hammer entered the home of a couple on the Rock Road in Blackrock.

They locked the homeowners, who are in their 80s, in a bedroom before stealing cash and a car.

"I am shocked by this. Blackrock is a safe and community-focused area and this is the second crime on elderly people in the area in the space of a few months," said Fine Gael councillor Maria Doyle.

"Blackrock has grown in recent years and is growing, there are planning applications in for more new homes and the number of gardaí is not growing in line with that.

"I hope this man pulls through. He, along with all people, particularly the elderly, are entitled to feel safe in their homes."

She said local people were "very worried and very frightened".

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú said residents of Blackrock were "incredibly disturbed" by the incident.

"This was an elderly man who was gravely injured... It has shook people here," he said.

He said the village was usually "incredibly quiet" but there was a wider issue with violent crime in the Dundalk area recently.

"There has been a few of these violent attacks. There are major issues that have to be dealt with."

Sinn Féin councillor Tomás Sharkey said it was "upsetting for the local community. Hopefully he improves and he makes a full recovery".

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dundalk garda station on 042-9388400 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent

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