Neighbours of flood victims foil thieves' attempt to rob evacuated homes in a stolen army boat
Three neighbours living in a flooded community in Clare thwarted two thieves who were on their way to rob evacuated homes in a stolen army boat.
The inflatable Defence Forces dingy was stolen from a farmhouse in Springfield, Clonlara, around 8pm last night.
The thieves were eventually cut off by two local men in another boat, as the robbers crossed a flooded field on their way towards unoccupied homes left vacant by evacuated families.
The two thieves made their escape and the boat was returned to the army.
A Garda source said the robbers "saw rich pickings" in the local community's misfortune and described their behaviour as "the lowest of the low".
"Imagine stealing a boat down here during the worst flood ever.
"That boat could be the difference between someone's life being saved in these treacherous waters," said a local woman.
Another local source recalled seeing the men making their getaway .
"I was walking along one of the banks and I saw them and I knew they weren't local lads.
"I followed them for a while and then they were cut off by a man in another boat."
"After that, they walked up the road through the water in their bare feet and then they put their socks and shoes on."
Gardaí at Ardnacrusha are investigating.