AN 83-year-old woman living on the State pension had her €3,000 life savings stolen by a group of men after they claimed they would repair the roof of her home.
Kathleen Byrne said she had withdrawn the money, which she had been saving since 2007, from her local Post Office after a group of four men called to her home and told her that her roof was in need of repairing.
The pensioner, who has lived in the small house in Dublin for 58 years, said the incident occurred at around 2pm on Monday afternoon, when two men called to her door and told her the “whole roof was gone”.
“A knock came to the door here. These two lads, they said they’d seen my felt roof from a house up the road, that it was in a bad way and there was moss on it and everything.
“They kept saying they’d just clean it for €120, and they went and got a van with two other lads in it. The other two got up on the roof and called one of the others, and said it was going to be a lot more expensive than he thought," the woman told RTE's Liveline.
“First, he said €2,000, then he went to €3,000. He said the whole roof is gone, it’s torn and water can get through. They said they’d have to get new felt, and it would have to be stripped.
“They said they would bring me up the road to get the money, and that two of them would come with me. I went in and took out €3,000.
“After I came home, one of the men took the money and counted it. I asked them where the felt was, and when they were going to do the roof, but he said it he was after doing it.”
She said that two of the men left, including the one who had taken the money.
Ms Byrne explained that one of her neighbours then arrived and called the guards, who questioned the two men left behind.
A garda spokesman said last night they were investigating the incident but that no arrests had been made.
It’s not the first time Ms Byrne has been targeted. In 2001, she said a thatched portion of her roof was set on fire in the middle of the night, after which her neighbours spent €21,000 rebuilding it.
Later in 2011, she woke from a nap to realise that her home had been severely flooded.