‘Bring thugs to justice’

Investigation into family’s ordeal is ongoing

The harrowing ordeal endured by a woman in her 90s and her two sons at a business premises in Ballintubber  has shocked the local community.

The aggravated burglary occurred in the early hours of Monday morning last in the Ashpark area of Ballintubber in a home on the same premises as the business.

After a number of men entered the house, the three victims were held hostage in one room while the property was searched. It is understood that the suspected offenders were armed with screwdrivers. The gang fled the scene with a sum of cash and the victims then managed to free themselves and raise the alarm.

One of the brothers in the property was injured during the incident. Fortunately his injuries are non-life threatening and he did not require medical attention.

Castlerea Gardaí are appealing to any person who was in the area of Ashpark, Ballintubber, between 10.30 pm on Sunday night (August 21st) and 12.30 am on Monday morning (August 22nd) to contact them. This includes any road users in the area at the time, particularly those who may have dash cam footage.

Local politicians have expressed shock and anger over this incident, with Cllr. Anthony Waldron describing the family as “very highly respected” members of the local community.

Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy described the robbery as “frightening and totally unacceptable” .

Senator Murphy said people will have to be more vigilant in their respective areas, as Gardaí “cannot be everywhere”, while adding that more Gardaí are required in all regions.

Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice, said: “The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be brought to justice. No stone should be left unturned in the investigation to identify these thugs”.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “Brutal and traumatic crimes such as the one which took place in the early hours of Monday morning are rare. But that is little consolation to the victims and the extended community.

“It is the isolated nature of rural communities which, in general, makes them safe. But this isolation can also make these communities targets for crimes of this nature”.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said that Ballintubber is a quiet and peaceful village which is home to a close-knit community that takes pride in its locality.

“I know that the people who were victimised in this attack will have the support of a strong community as they recover from this traumatic incident. But it is of paramount importance that the thugs who have struck fear into the heart of this community are apprehended and made an example of”.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Castlerea Garda Station on 094 962 1630 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.