Wednesday 13 December 2017

Taxi driver granddad 'may never work again' after he is stabbed up to 30 times

Taxi driver had seatbelt tightened around his neck as he was slashed in the face

The two young men are reported to have been picked up here on Church Street, Athlone (Photo: Google Maps)
The two young men are reported to have been picked up here on Church Street, Athlone (Photo: Google Maps)

Brian McDonald

An elderly taxi driver, who was stabbed up to 30 times and robbed, may never work again.

Grandfather Séamus Hogan is recovering at home after his terrifying ordeal.

His seat belt was tightened around his neck and he was slashed in the face during the late-night robbery in Athlone.

It was the second attack on an elderly man in the town in a matter of hours, with a shopkeeper was also assaulted.

Mr Hogan is being comforted by his extended family at his home in Moate after being discharged from hospital, where he received stitches and was treated for his stab wounds.

Gardaí have confirmed that three youths have been arrested in connection with the incident and are being held for questioning in Athlone.

Mr Hogan had been driving a taxi for Castle Cabs in Athlone and is renowned as a courteous and helpful driver who always turned up for work wearing a shirt and tie.

Read more: Three teens arrested after crime spree involving taxi driver attack and armed robbery

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, he was approached by two youths at a taxi rank in Dublingate Street in Athlone who asked him to take them to Coosan.

He became suspicious en route, however, and for his own safety decided to pull over beneath the Athlone bypass.

But as he stopped, he was attacked from behind by the pair, who demanded his money.

The two youths took his entire takings for the night. And for good measure, they ripped his watch from his wrist and made their escape. It is thought that they made off with cash in the region of €100-€130.

Gardaí also confirmed that late on Tuesday afternoon three youths armed with a firearm and an iron bar entered a shop on the Ballymahon road outside Athlone. They threatened and assaulted the shopkeeper, who is in his 70s, before fleeing empty-handed.

The shopkeeper was later taken to Portiuncula Hospital and treated for head injuries.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information to contact Athlone Garda Station 090-6498550 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent

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