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Sunday 8 December 2019

Pensioner (76) viciously beaten with baton by raiders

Conor Feehan and Ken Foy

An elderly pensioner has been viciously beaten with a baton and punched repeatedly by two raiders inside his home.

Sean O'Donnell (76), who lives on his own in Artane, Dublin, was targeted by two men who attempted to rob cash from him after forcing their way into his small flat.

Sean O'Donnell was assaulted during an attempted robbery last night in his flat in Artane. (Photo: www.doug.ie)
Sean O'Donnell was assaulted during an attempted robbery last night in his flat in Artane. (Photo: www.doug.ie)

The pensioner, who has an artificial voice box, was unable to tell his assailants he didn't have any money as they attacked him.

Sean O’Donnell (76), who lives alone in accommodation for the elderly at Goresfield Court, was watching television on Thursday night when the sickening attack took place.

Gardai are investigating the attack and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

“I was just sitting in my chair when I heard two taps at the door. They were gentle knocks and I thought it might be one of the neighbours. It was 8.50pm so it wasn’t that late and I didn’t think anything of it,” Sean told the Herald.

“But as soon as I opened the door these two men just burst into the hall and the punches started flying. They caught me off-guard,” he added.

Sean said one of the men was around 6ft tall and had a scarf wrapped around his head, and the second man was in his twenties and no disguised.

“One of them grabbed me from behind and held onto me as the other one punched and punched,” he explained.

“He was shouting ‘give us the money, give us the money’ over and over,” he added.

Sean O'Donnell was assaulted during an attempted robbery last night in his flat in Artane. (Photo: www.doug.ie)
Sean O'Donnell was assaulted during an attempted robbery last night in his flat in Artane. (Photo: www.doug.ie)

With his face bruised, a very bloodshot eye and swollen hands and plastered fingers, Sean said he was trying to break free and protect himself from the attack.

Sean had surgery on his throat in 2006 which means he uses an artificial voice box, but he has to press on a valve in an opening in his throat to talk.

But while he was being held during the attack he couldn’t shout for help or communicate with his attackers to tell them he had no money.

“The small guy was telling the bigger one to ‘use the baton’ and they started beating me with it,” said Sean.

“One blow from it on my hand broke the Claddagh ring I got 29 years ago as a 25th wedding anniversary present,” he said.

Sean explained that he was dragged back to his living room as the beating continued, but both his attackers fled empty-handed.

“I’d say they were here for around three minutes, but that’s a lot when you’re fighting someone,” he said.

“When they ran away I just shut the door and rang the gardai, and then got help from my neighbours before the ambulance arrived,” he explained.

Sean was brought to Beaumont Hospital where he had to undergo scans to ensure his injuries were not life-threatening.

“I was worried about my sight but I’m told I’ll have a lot of bruising and swelling but Ill make a recover,” he added.

Sean said he does not know why he was a target in the attack.

“Maybe it was random, I don’t know, but I got an awful shock, I had no time to think about anything,” he said.

Sean said he had no money in the house and no valuables, and thinks being on the ground floor made him an easier target because the gang could make a quick getaway afterwards.

“I didn’t hear any car driving away or anything. I think they were on foot, but I wasn’t going out the door after them to find out,” he said.

Sean thinks that his strength from being involved in sport came to his aid during the attack and helped him fight off his attackers and maybe suffer less injuries than a frail man might have.

“I played football for Donegal at junior, minor and senior level before I went to England to work,” he told The Herald.

“I was on the minor team that won the Ulster Championship and then played at senior level in 1960,” said the grandfather.

Gardai are investigating the disturbing incident but said no arrests had been made yet.

They advised people living alone to install security chains on their doors and not to answer the door to strangers unless they can establish who they are.

(The Herald)

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