Buncrana rallies round elderly victim of horrific attack

Neighbours Robert Callaghan and Ciaran McLaughlin beside the home of Margaret

Neighbours Robert Callaghan and Ciaran McLaughlin beside the home of Margaret "Greta" Lilly. The two neighbours have set up an acount in the local Credit Union for the 96 yr old victim. (1101JB60)

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In the wake of the horrific attack on 96 years old Buncrana woman, Margaret ‘Greta’ Lilly, there has been widespread praise for the local community’s superb response to the incident.

Following confirmation that a considerable sum of the pensioner’s savings had been stolen - she was saving to put in double glazed windows at her home at Aghilly - local councillor and near neighbour, Ciaran McLaughlin teamed up with staff at Buncrana Credit Union to set up a fund for Ms Lilly.

“I was going to go out on the streets with a bucket and I know I would have received great support from the people of Buncrana.But this way people can donate how much they want and when they want. The staff in Buncrana Credit Union have been great,” Cllr McLaughlin said.

The account will remain open at Buncrana Credit Union for one month from yesterday. People can simply walk in off the street and donate money to the fund.

Ms Lilly was taken to Beach Hill Manor Nursing Home at Lisfannon on Wednesday following her release from Letterkenny General Hospital.

The centre has offered the pensioner a free week’s respite. Another company, Compass Windows in Dungiven, Co Derry has also offered to replace Ms Lilly’s old windows at her home.

The company heard of her plight and made the generous offer on Wednesday.

Another local security company, Orbit Security, are also fitting a new alarm system at the victim’s home as a gesture of goodwill. The owner of a local motor parts company, George McLaughlin, has also put up a reward of 5,000 euro for information leading to the prosecution of Ms Lilly’s attackers.

Local TD Padraig MacLochlainn has said it has been remarkable to watch the community rally to the pensioner’s aid.

Ms Lilly’s next door neighbour, Robbie Callaghan, who was the first on the scene after she was attacked, said he is delighted she has made a full recovery. “A week in the Home will do her the world of good and we will really welcome her home when she comes home,” he said.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that following the arrest of a 48 year old man under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act on Tuesday evening after a Garda operation at Burt, a file in relation to the robbery has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

It is understood the man was arrested at a hotel in the area.

Ms Lilly was robbed and punched in the ribs in the early hours of Saturday morning by an intruder who broke into her home and gagged her before robbing a substantial amount of money.

The attack has made national headlines.

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