Robbery ordeal as noose put on farmer's neck
A rural farmer has described the terrifying moments he was held at knifepoint with a noose tied around his neck as robbers raided his home for cash.
The farmer (48) was dragged around his home in the area of Clonaycavan, just outside Ballivor, Co Meath.
The brave man managed to loosen the grip one of the thugs had on him before escaping out of his back door and into a neighbour's house.
Speaking to the Herald from his home, the man - who did not wish to be identified - said he was still shaken from the ordeal, which took place just over a week ago.
He said the thugs - both wearing balaclavas - were waiting in his kitchen when he arrived back at the house with turf at around 7pm on January 17.
"One lad was a bit thin and the other was bigger. He spoke with an English accent. 'Get down on the ground and put your hands behind your head'," he said.
The man, armed with a handgun, then wrapped a noose (a slim belt0 around his neck, with the other burglar holding a knife to his head.
After scouring the upstairs and downstairs of the home, taking the man with them everywhere, the thugs found around €200 which was left in the sitting room, a birthday gift.
The man gave them his bank card and pin but they proceeded to ask him for bank statements and ransacked the kitchen.
However, they became distracted when his phone rang.
"I kept telling them I've no money, only what's in my bank account," he said. "The phone rang, it was my son. The lad that was holding me said, 'You said you lived on your f**king own'.
"I said that I do, he lives with his mother, he's coming up to get a lend of that van (outside). The English fella was no length gone out the door, I could hear him talking to someone [outside], so I said to myself I've to get out of here.
"I just turned, made a run out the door in my stocking feet with my hand here pulling the belt and I said to myself 'you're going to come with me or you're going to lose grip' [with one of the burglars holding on to him]," he said.
"I nearly ran through the car [out the back]. He lost his balance there somewhere and I got out in front of the garage and burst through the laurel hedge into another field," he added.
The terrified man said the phone call which prompted his escape took place at around 7.55pm, but he only reached his neighbour's at around 8.15pm as he tried to evade the robbers.
"I was nervous, but I was so happy to see my neighbours," he said.
The first suspect has been described as being between 5ft 11in to 6ft, stocky and with a English accent. The second man was around 5ft 7in with a Dublin accent.