Thursday 26 April 2018

Widow (85) robbed by teen thug as she visited husband's grave

Irene Foley
Irene Foley

Elaine Keogh and Alan O'Keeffe

A great-great-grandmother who survived the second World War has said she will never return to her husband's grave alone after a teenager snatched her handbag from her there.

Irene Foley (85) forgives the youth who robbed her but "will not forget what he did".

She asked: "Would he do that to his own mother? That is what I would like to know."

Mrs Foley said she wanted to know if the robber, who she believes was in his late teens, "has got a conscience".

Mrs Foley was widowed in 1979 when her husband Christy (60), who was a farrier, died from a heart condition. He is buried in Ratoath graveyard in Co Meath.

She had just knelt down to tend to her husband's grave when the thief struck in broad daylight, just after 2pm on Saturday.

"I was going to get the water bottle out from beside the headstone and the next thing, something came from the side, my left-hand side," she said.

"I had my bag on the ground with me and he came from the left-hand side. It was a pouch bag with a chain as a draw-string. He just got it and was gone. It was so quick.

"I shouted after him. With two or three strides, he was gone into a car."

She said a black hatchback car had been waiting with the door open for him.

A mother of seven, grandmother of 19, great- grandmother of 12 and also a great-great-grandmother of one, Mrs Foley says she is "churning inside" and "shook" since the incident, which is being investigated by gardaí in Ashbourne.

Mrs Foley is originally from Berlin and came to Ireland in 1949 to improve her English and worked as an au-pair. Within two years she married.

She said she is not able to bring herself to go to the graveyard for the time being.

"If I do, I will have somebody with me. I won't go there on my own ever again."

She said she is a Christian and despite what happened, "I will forgive him for what he did but I will not forget what he did".

Meanwhile, a young woman bravely fought off an attacker who gained access to a house in Dublin.

The victim, an au pair aged in her 20s, was alone in the house in Templeogue when the terrifying incident occurred.

Her attacker, wearing dark sunglasses and a dark baseball cap, gained entry to the house in the Osprey area at 11.20am on Monday.

The young woman initially believed the man had arrived seeking to meet a member of the family but then realised he was a complete stranger.

A violent struggle ensued between the intruder and the woman as he attacked her. She managed to scratch his face during the attack. She succeeded in fighting him off and he fled the scene. The woman is understood to be deeply traumatised.

A major garda search for the assailant got underway shortly after the incident with gardaí conducting door to door inquiries.

The suspected offender is described as a man aged between 40 and 50 years old, of average height with short hair. He had a very thin face, a pock-marked complexion and fair skin.

Irish Independent

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