A SENIOR garda has described as "cowardly" the
masked men who punched and robbed a 96 year old
woman as she slept in her bed at the weekend.
Garda Inspector David Murphy said local officers
were determined to trace the burglars who broke into
widow's home at Aghilly, Buncrana,
shortly before 12.30am on Saturday.
The thieves, wearing dark clothes, entered her home
through a kitchen window. They went to her bedroom
and demanded money before ransacking the place and
making off with a handbag, bank cards and a sum of
The victim, who is described as independent and
"youthful for her years" managed to activate her
panic alarm to alert neighbours and gardai after the
attack. She was taken to Letterkenny General
Hospital for observation.
"This was a shocking incident that terrified an
elderly woman. We would appeal to the general public
in Buncrana to pick up the phone and contact us if
they have any information at all, no matter how
small, in relation to this cowardly act," said
"Two people were seen walking away from the area
after this incident so if there was a getaway car it
could have been parked a distance away. If anyone
saw a vehicle parked in an unusual place or saw any
other suspicious activity, we would like to hear
from them," he added.
There are local reports that an unfamiliar vehicle
was seen possibly surveying the area in the days
prior to the attack. Inspector Murphy said all
eyewitness information would be followed up while
door-to-door inquiries are continuing as part of the
Meanwhile, local representatives yesterday claimed
that vulnerable people were "at the mercy" of brutal
criminals due to the Government's "slash and burn"
of garda resources.
Donegal Fianna Fáil local representatives, Deputy
Charlie McConalogue and Cllr Rena Donaghey rounded
on the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter.
"Many communities in Donegal have been left exposed
by cuts to garda stations, patrol cars and garda
personnel last year," said Deputy McConalogue.
"As if this wasn’t enough, we learned over the
weekend that the Minister also wants to cut an extra
1,000 garda personnel this year, bringing the garda
force to its lowest level in a decade," he said.
Cllr Donaghey, who lives a short distance from the
victim, added: "Local gardaí are doing the best they
can but they are very thin on the ground and they
are working with very limited resources. Now the
Minister has said that there are going to be further
major cuts in 2013.
"This is giving a green light to criminals and is
leaving people at the mercy of robbers who target
vulnerable, elderly people in rural areas."
Cllr Donaghey said the people of Buncrana were
"horrified and gutted" at the attack on the 96 year
"This will have been very traumatic for her and
there is no doubt that it will knock the
confidence she has for a woman of her age.