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‘They were held at knifepoint for an hour’ – garda manhunt underway after aggravated burglary on elderly brother and sister in Cork


Mary O'Halloran came upon the scene when she went to visit her brother Gerry.

Mary O'Halloran came upon the scene when she went to visit her brother Gerry.

Mary O'Halloran came upon the scene when she went to visit her brother Gerry.

Over €10,000 was raised in a matter of hours for an elderly brother and sister left terrified by an aggravated burglary in Cork.

The GoFundMe appeal was launched by paramedics who attended to Gerry (79) and Mary (83) O'Halloran who were robbed at knife point by a thief at their Gurranabraher home in Cork on Sunday morning.

The heartless thief stole some of the pensioners' life savings before fleeing on foot during the aggravated burglary at 7am.

Gerry and Mary were left shaken by the incident - and while they did not suffer serious injuries, they were taken to the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) for precautionary checks.

Both were briefly held at knifepoint by the thief.

Gardaí are now hunting for the burglar who broke into the property at Boyce's Street on Cork's northside.

Mary O'Halloran came upon the scene when she went to visit her brother Gerry.

Gerry had been shocked to come face to face with the knife-wielding intruder - and Mary was warned to get inside the house when she called to check on her brother.

The burglar then stole a small sum of money she had been carrying.

Before he fled, the man ordered the elderly pair to stay inside the property - and he damaged a phone to prevent them calling for help.

Paramedics Keith Harrington and Sean Healy were shocked by what the elderly couple had endured.

In a bid to help the siblings, they decided to set up a GoFundMe appeal with the aim of raising €2,000.

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In the space of 12 hours, the appeal had raised €10,000 for the elderly couple.

Mr Harrington said that they decided to establish the page to financially assist the pensioners in the wake of the shocking incident.

"They are an elderly brother and sister and have been deeply traumatised by their experience," he posted.

"They were held at knifepoint in their home for over an hour. They are now being treated in the MUH. It would be great if we could alleviate their financial worries at least."

A major Garda manhunt is now underway for the thief.

Gardaí said they believe CCTV security camera footage from premises in the area will now prove crucial.

Detectives are appealing for information and are keen to speak with anyone who was in the vicinity of Boyce’s Street or neighbouring streets between 6:30am and 9am on Sunday who may have witnessed anything to come forward.

They are also appealing to road users with video footage from the Gurranabraher area between those times, to make it available to them.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on (021) 4946200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

Donations can be made to the fundraising effort here. 

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