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Personal items stolen in burglary on Noonan's home

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan's home was broken into in the run up to last week's Budget, the Irish Independent has learned.

It is understood a number of personal items were taken from the Limerick house, but no official or budgetary documents were touched in last month's disturbance.

Startled neighbours learned of the break-in recently, and even Mr Noonan's close Fine Gael colleagues in Limerick only heard of it in the past few days. Mr Noonan lives in a three-bed semi-detached house in a quiet residential area in the south-west Limerick city suburb of Dooradoyle.

It is believed a lot of Mr Noonan's constituency operations are based in the house, and he is well very known in the area, having lived there most of his life.

Mr Noonan splits his time between his home base, and his Dail and ministerial work in Dublin. The value of the goods stolen is not known, but sources say the raid posed no state security risk.

Gardai visited the home shortly after the break-in was reported, and are still attempting to track down the culprit but have yet to arrest anyone in relation to the incident.

It is understood the burglars did not target Mr Noonan personally, but his house was instead picked out and broken into randomly.

Mr Noonan's five adult children have all moved out, and his wife, Florence, who suffers from Alzheimer's, is in a nursing home.

Irish Independent