Friday 15 December 2017

I shot burglar because I was terrified for my kids

THE dad-of-three who shot a burglar who had broken into the family business said he feared for his wife and children.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald, Gerry Kennedy said: “Of course I wish it didn't happen but if it happened again I would do the same thing.”

The highly respected furniture manufacturer shot a member of a three-man Traveller gang who had broken into his business, next door to his rural home at Killoe, Co Longford, in the early hours yesterday.

Mr Kennedy acted when he heard noises at around 6.30am and spotted a gang of thieves near his factory, which adjoins the house.

He grabbed his legally held shotgun and ran outside to challenge the thugs.

Speaking to the Herald today, he said: “I had a million things running through my mind but what stands out is the fear that I was feeling for my family.

“I was sure that if they didn't find what they were looking for they would come into my house and attack my family.

“It was a horrible situation – I was convinced that the guy I shot had a gun. It was a horrible moment but I did what I had to do – I did what I thought was right for my family.”

Gerry Kennedy said the “worst thing” about the incident was that his children, aged between seven and twelve, “heard all the commotion.”

The popular businessman explained that while he is still shaken, he woke up this morning feeling a lot better than yesterday.

”The doctor visited me last night and gave me something to relax me so I feel fine,” he said.

“The support I have got from everyone around here has been great - the gardai have been great to me. I really appreciate it all.”

The area around Co Longford where Mr Kennedy's business, which specialises in fitted kitchens and wardrobes, is located has been blighted by a spate of break-ins in recent months.

The three-man gang who broke into the factory are all in garda custody today while officers investigate whether they have been involved in any other local crimes.

The man who was shot by Mr Kennedy was discharged from hospital last night and taken into garda custody.

Two other suspects were also being questioned by gardai after they were arrested within hours of the theft.

The gang is made up of two Traveller thugs and an addict from south inner city Dublin.


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