A HEAVILY pregnant 32-year-old woman and her two young children were terrorised in their own home, when two raiders broke into the house looking for her partner.
The man they were looking for was not present when the thugs entered the property and threatened his pregnant girlfriend.
Her two terrified young daughters locked themselves in a bedroom during the ordeal on Saturday.
One of the girls – who are both understood to be aged under 13 – called 999 on a mobile phone, which alerted gardai, who then rushed to the scene.
The disturbing drama unfolded at the family home in the Dun Saithne estate in Balbriggan, north Co Dublin, shortly after 8am.
Sources say that gardai fear that if the male occupant of the house had been in the house he could have been either abducted or murdered.
He is originally from the Blanchardstown area.
However, he is understood to have been living in Balbriggan for some years.
The two raiders smashed a window at the front of the house.
They then forced their way into the property, where they demanded to know where the pregnant woman's partner was.
When she told them he was not at home, they smashed up some items in the house and threatened her, which caused the children to flee.
The ordeal ended when the thugs fled the scene in a van. Sources say that the criminals may be from the Ballyfermot area, however no arrests have been made by gardai so far in the case.
"This was a very traumatic experience for that pregnant lady and her children," a local source added.
"There is a very serious problem with crime in the Balbriggan area at the moment and many locals feel that there is not enough being done about it."
The incident is not linked to a criminal feud in the area, which has resulted in armed gardai patrolling outside a primary school in the town.
Earlier this week, detectives seized a car from one of the protagonists in the feud, when the officers noticed that the vehicle was not taxed.
Last Saturday's terrifying ordeal for the Balbriggan family has similarities to a shocking incident which happened in Swords, north Co Dublin.
In that incident, a gang threatened to shoot a pregnant mum-of-one and her young son in a terrifying burglary.
The raiders also told the woman they would "kick the baby out of you".
The thugs were armed with a gun, knife and hammer when they broke into the apartment at Talbot Hall, Applewood in Swords.
No arrests have been made in that case either.