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Taoiseach's pal victim of second violent assault

A PERSONAL friend of Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been attacked for a second time in a violent burglary at her home.

Businesswoman Regina Sweeney (36) – who received facial bruising during the frightening incident – is recovering from what is the second raid on her home in less than three months.

Regina, who appeared on The Late Late Show to talk about crime after being attacked in a burglary in December – was gagged with masking tape, tied to the stairs, and hit and choked by two masked men during the a burglary of her Co Mayo home.

panic

The raiders only fled when Ms Sweeney, whose late father Liam Coady was a former driver for Mr Kenny, managed to sound a panic button that she had on her, which set off an alarm and alerted gardai.

It's believed the attackers were there for about two minutes.

They rang the doorbell and Ms Sweeney opened the door to see two men standing there in balaclavas, who then led her into her home and tied her up.

She was on her own at the time in her bridal boutique business which she runs from her and her husband Declan's home outside Castlebar.

Her husband is a detective garda in Castlebar. The Taoiseach was said to be "very upset" when he learned of the news last night.

She was taken to hospital following the ordeal but was released last night. Ms Sweeney is reported to have marks and bruising on her arms and her neck and is in shock but her physical injuries are not reported to be serious.

Gardai believe that it wasn't a random attack and that Ms Sweeney was personally targeted, although a motive is unclear.

They are appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Corheens area of Breaffy, Castlebar, to contact them on 094 9022222.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of rural crime has led well-known businessman Declan Ganley to issue a warning to any would-be raiders to stay away from his property.

He has also called for more garda resources to tackle the rise in burglaries in rural areas.

His comments follow a raid at a service station in his home town of Abbeyknockmoy, Co Galway, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"If chaps raiding and thrashing Abbeyknockmoy's business community come to visit us, we're expecting them. Last two gangs that tried got jailed," he tweeted. Despite the tweet, Mr Ganley insisted that he was not calling on homeowners to arm themselves.

hnews@herald.ie


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