Outrage as woman (96) punched and gagged

Local councillor Ciaran McLaughlin with a Ban Garda outside the house of Margaret Lilly.  (0801JB04)
Local councillor Ciaran McLaughlin with a Ban Garda outside the house of Margaret Lilly. (0801JB04)
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Gardai in Buncrana are hunting a vicious intruder who assaulted and gagged a 96 year-old woman in her own home overnight.

The elderly pensioner was asleep at her Ardavin bungalow shortly after midnight when a masked man gained entry to the house through a kitchen window before making his way into the bedroom.

The intruder punched the terrified elderly Buncrana pensioner in the ribs and gagged her before taking money and bank cards from her handbag. She was admitted to Letterkenny General Hospital after the assault although her injuries are not thought to be life threatening, Gardai said today.

A Garda source said that while the physical attack was carried out by one person, the elderly victim heard other voices in the house at the time with local accents.

The pensioner raised the alarm by pressing a panic alarm after the incident which alerted Gardai to the scene at around 12.30am. Investigators confirmed that the culprits made off on foot in the direction of Tullydish.

The scene was sealed off early this morning and Garda officers carried out door-to-door enquiries in the area as they tried to track down those responsible for the elderly woman’s traumatic ordeal.

Buncrana Town Councillor, Ciaran McLaughlin, who is a neighbour of the victim, said people in the area were in shock at what happened.

Speaking to the Journal today, Councillor McLaughlin described the incident as “a sick attack”.

“This is a really quiet area and this woman was an easy target for those who carried out this attack. Elderly people in the area are now very scared and distressed and I think we all have to keep our eyes open. The people who did this knew exactly what they were doing and anyone with information needs to come forward quickly so that they can be caught and I hope the Gardai are able to do this very quickly.”