Tuesday 17 July 2018

'I didn’t think straight, I just ran after them' - Woman confronts two burglars while sunbathing in back garden

Aileen Eglington confronted the burglars at her home in Kilternan, Co Dublin
Aileen Eglington confronted the burglars at her home in Kilternan, Co Dublin

Cormac Fitzgerald

A Dublin woman faced down two burglars and ran them out of her back garden when they tried to break into her house while she was home alone.

Aileen Eglington, from Kilternan, Co Dublin, told the Dundrum Gazette that she was sunbathing in her garden when two strange men came in through the side gate.

"I was sitting in my back garden... behind a load of lilies so nobody could see me in this particular part of the garden," she said.

"I was listening to the radio when I heard a noise. It suddenly dawned on me that the noise was my side gate opening.”

Ms Eglington, who is head of the Kilternan Residents Association and ran for Fine Gael in the 2014 local elections, came out from behind the lilies to find two men in her garden and she confronted them immediately.

“I can’t describe the feeling when you suddenly realise that there is someone in your garden," she said.

“There were two guys down the side of the house in front of me.

"They were only about 6ft away from me so I screamed like a maniac at them and I ran after them.

"I didn’t think straight, I just ran after them. I was literally screaming my heart out.”

The two men ran away from the house and took off up the Enniskerry Road. They jumped over the wall of a local church and ran out the back of it.

Ms Eglington described the two men as in their late-teens to early-20s. One man was wearing a matching blue tracksuit.

She contacted the Gardaí who arrived at her home in five minutes and began to search for the men, but were unable to find them.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Ms Eglington said that more Gardaí were needed to effectively police areas like her own.

"I believe that if the economy is recovering that we should be getting more police," she said.

"The police are not being equipped properly to do their job and we need more of them.

"Everybody is affected by crime and we have to show [the criminals] who's boss and we have to give the police the right environment to operate in."

Second burglary

This is second time burglars have targeted Ms Eglington's home.

The first time, exactly a year ago, a group of men broke into her home while her husband was cutting the grass and ransacked their bedroom, stealing jewellery and valuables.

Ms Eglington said that the closure of Stepaside Garda station in March, 2013, had led to increased crime rates in the area which makes her worry for the residents.

“All I could think of that day was that I’m strong and tough, and I just ran after them without thinking," she told the Gazette

"But there’s an awful lot of very vulnerable people living around here and we need to protect them,” she said.

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