Monday 23 October 2017

Pensioner closes family shop after 67 years following vicious baseball bat attack

Eamon Greene's (right) family opened The Cova in 1948. Pic via Westmeath Independent
Eamon Greene's (right) family opened The Cova in 1948. Pic via Westmeath Independent

Cian Murray

A 75-year-old man who was viciously attacked with a baseball bat has closed his family owned grocery shop due to safety fears.

Eamon Greene’s (75) family opened The Cova grocery store in Athlone back in 1948, but were forced to close the store after a vicious attack in August of last year.

Several youths stormed the store with a baseball bat and an imitation pistol. Mr Greene said he was struck with the baseball bat several times, but tried to defend himself with a nearby sweeping brush.

Two youths have since been jailed for the attack. 

He told “They knocked me to the ground and I only had an old sweeping brush to protect myself. This is six o’clock in the evening and you are own. They then produced what I thought was a gun. “

The assault has had serious physical repercussions for Eamon.

“I have since had problems with headaches and balance. If I get up very quick, I would fall over very quickly from the sharp blow to the head. I’ve had serious difficulties because of it.

 “I lost the power in the side of my face and the power in the back. The nerve ends in my head too. I’ve had problems with headaches and balance and everything else.”

Mr Greene, who first took over the shop in 1962, added that his family no longer felt safe in their home above the shop.

“I reopened the shop on September 27, but I wasn’t really fit enough to do it.”

“There would be a fear as I was no longer physically able to defend myself the way I once was. There was a fear for my wife too. I had to have meals in the shop because she couldn’t go in and cover because of safety.

“It is very hard to talk about reason for this.”

The decision to close the shop wasn’t an easy one, but he felt it needed to be done. Eamon’s mother May (105), who opened the shop in 1948, lives with Eamon. 

“My mother has full-time carers and I didn’t want them living with the fear either," he said.

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