There has been public outrage after a Derry father-of-six was left seriously injured by criminals trying to steal his work lorry.
Adrian McLaughlin (53), from Drum, near Dungiven, was attending a wake of a member of his family’s in-laws in Burnfoot - close to the Derry-Donegal border - when he intercepted two people trying to steal his lorry understood to be full of copper from a local business.
It’s believed Mr. McLaughlin got a grip on the steering wheel of the getaway vehicle and was dragged along for some distance in the Derry direction.
He was subsequently thrown off into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
His injuries are understood to include a broken leg, a broken ankle, broken ribs and extensive bruising.
He is being treated at Altnagelvin Hospital.
A spokesman for the Garda Press Office in Dublin yesterday told the ‘Journal’ that the PSNI were co-operating with Gardai.
He added: “This was a serious incident in which a man sustained major injuries. He’s still in hospital and while not life threatening he has sustained very serious injuries.”
Yesterday his brother, Nigel, said Adrian was “very lucky to be alive.”
He described those involved in the incident as “degenerates”.
Buncrana mayor, Peter McLaughlin, who came upon the incident on Monday night said he was shocked.
He commented: “This was callous, sickening and scary. These people did not care what happened this man as long as they got away.
“ This was not a couple of boys out for a Sunday drive.They are bad, bad people.”
Locally based councillor, Jack Murray said the entire community was shocked by the vicious incident describing it as ‘another crime spree’ in a border village.
The Sinn Fein representative also said there was a clear case for more Gardai.
“I was shocked to learn of this attack and robbery in my local community. This incident highlights not only the blatant disregard that these criminals have for their victims but also the clear need for increased Garda resources in the border area.
“This robbery took place during another crime spree in the border villages of Donegal. There is a clear case for an increase in Garda personnel to reflect our proximity to Derry - the fourth largest city on the island. Recession or not, the people of this area deserve to be protected from criminals.