Thursday 12 December 2019

'My wife is watching the windows in case they return' - Councillor's horror at attack on family home


Smashed up: The car belonging to Fergus Kilcoyne which was damaged outside his home in Patrickswell. Photo: Press 22
Smashed up: The car belonging to Fergus Kilcoyne which was damaged outside his home in Patrickswell. Photo: Press 22

David Raleigh

A councillor whose home was attacked by masked men has said he will "not be intimidated".

First-time Independent councillor Fergus Kilcoyne was back at work yesterday despite being "traumatised" by the violent attack on his family home in the early hours of Monday.

Masked men arrived at the home of the councillor and publican, in the village of Patrickswell, Co Limerick, around 4.45am. The gang smashed windows of the house and two cars parked outside.

Gardaí are taking the matter extremely seriously, but have not commented on a possible motive.

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Speaking for the first time since the attack, Mr Kilcoyne said: "It was horrific, horrific. My wife is in bits.

"She is not even sleeping at night, she is sitting up at night watching out the windows in case they come back, so the kids can get sleep.

Fergus Kilkoyne. Photo: Press 22
Fergus Kilkoyne. Photo: Press 22

"We are taking turns in keeping a look out, it's gone that bad. No one should have to live that way," he added.

Citing the kidnap and attack on businessman Kevin Lunney, the Limerick publican said he believed what happened to his family was "a form of intimidation".

"It's a form of intimidation, that's what it is. That's all I have to say. It's up the police now to do their job."

Mr Kilcoyne said he, his wife and their four children - all aged in their 20s - were asleep at home.

"The noise of breaking glass was like bullets going through the windows, such was the bang. There was eight or nine panes of glass that went in. The cars are probably written off, there was a lot of damage, between €30,000 and €40,000 damage done, in two minutes.

"I wouldn't know how you would describe them, but that's what we are dealing with," Mr Kilcoyne added.

"I've four kids. They were all in the house. They're aged 27 down to 21. We are all traumatised, it's as simple as that."

When asked about a possible motive for the attack, he replied: "I'm not going to comment, that's up to the Garda."

An informed source said Mr Kilcoyne has been advised by gardaí to increase security measures at his home in the wake of the attack.

A major Garda investigation is under way. Officers are continuing to conduct house-to-house enquiries in the area and are trawling through CCTV, in the hunt for those behind the attack.

A scenes-of-crime unit carried out a "forensic examination" of Mr Kilcoyne's home and his and his wife's cars.

Mr Kilcoyne, who has run The Dark Horse Bar in Patrickswell for 21 years, attended a council meeting at City Hall yesterday.

Speaking afterwards, he said despite the attack he remained undeterred in his work.

"I've to get on with life, but that doesn't mean it isn't in my head, what is going on. You just have to keep a brave front and fight on.

"No one has intimidated me yet," he added.

Fellow publican and Cathaoirleach of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, James Collins, said: "It's a very difficult time for him and today there was unanimous support for him at City Hall."

Irish Independent

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