TD's home ransacked during NYE celebration
A Labour Party TD in Waterford had her home burgled as she prepared to celebrate New Year's Eve.
Among the items stolen from Ciara Conway's home in Dungarvan on Thursday evening was some cash and a small amount of jewellery belonging to her 13-year-old daughter.
The TD's home on Thomas Terrace was empty at the time of the raid, which took place around 8pm on New Year's Eve.
"We had just popped out to wish some neighbours and friends a happy New Year and when we returned we found every tin and box turned over and every envelope emptied. They were obviously looking for cash and jewellery," explained Ms Conway.
Initially the 35-year-old mother of one, who had just moved into the house two months ago with her husband Gary Honer and daughter Aeva May, believed her wedding and engagement rings were taken too, but she later found them.
"I was heartbroken at the thought of losing those rings. Gary and I had just celebrated our second wedding anniversary so when I couldn't find them I presumed they were taken too.
"I was distraught as you can imagine. But luckily I discovered the rings by the immersion. I'm not sure if the burglars left them behind inadvertently," she said.
Ms Conway's break-in is one of five to have taken place in homes across Dungarvan on New Year's Eve.
Last night she described the events as "heart-breaking", adding that she was now concerned with how it would affect her daughter.
"They really gave her room a right going over and emptied everything they could find. They did a lot of damage," she said.
"Understandably she was very upset and the thought that these people were in her room going through her personal things, like her Christmas cards, isn't nice. She's still a bit shaken up about that."
Deputy Conway believes the perpetrators chose New Year's Eve to commit the break-ins on the assumption that houses would be empty.
She expressed concern for older people living alone in the area.
"One of our neighbours, who is in her 80s, had her door kicked in last night and her home burgled. It was really awful. She actually saw them breaking in. It's particularly worrying that older people would be targeted and preyed upon in this way. It's terrible behaviour."
Local gardaí in Dungarvan are investigating the robberies and were on the scene quickly on Thursday evening.