herald

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Village shocked as thug stabs man (93) three times at home

The man was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital
The man was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

A 93-year-old man is in hospital after he tried to fend off a heartless thug who stabbed him three times.

The attacker is understood to have taken advantage of the man's kindness to try to gain entry to his home.

The victim was gardening in his greenhouse and went to get a glass of water for a man who called to his home when a row took place.

It is understood the victim was asked for money and realised something was wrong.

The suspect attempted to gain entry to the man's property but the homeowner managed to fend him off.

He was then stabbed three times, including in the arm and abdomen.

Fled

Gardai were last night questioning a 30-year-old suspect following the attack on the pensioner in the popular seaside village of Blackrock, Co Louth, on Saturday.

Gardai were alerted to the incident at Sandy Lane at around 2.50pm. Officers are treating the incident as an assault and attempted aggravated burglary.

The suspect fled the scene but gardai subsequently made an arrest late on Saturday.

A man remained in custody in Dundalk Garda Station yesterday in connection with the incident.

He was detained under the Criminal Justice Act.

He is a local criminal known to gardai for involvement in minor crime.

The injured man, who lives at the house with his wife and who has family living nearby, was taken by ambulance to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

He underwent emergency surgery and was yesterday said to be in a stable condition.

President Michael D Higgins yesterday visited the elderly victim in hospital to wish him a speedy recovery. Mr Higgins was in Drogheda for the Fleadh.

The chairman of the Dundalk joint policing committee described the attack on a 93-year-old man in his home as "absolutely appalling".

Fianna Fail councillor Sean Kelly also said it was "so scary" the attack could happen at 3pm in the day.

"My thoughts are with his family and I wish him a speedy recovery. Hopefully those responsible will be bought to justice," he said.

It is the second time in recent months the elderly have been the victims of crime in the village.

"I am shocked by this," said Fine Gael councillor Maria Doyle.

"Blackrock is a safe and community-focused area and this is the second crime on elderly people in the area in the space of a few months.

"Blackrock has grown in recent years and is growing, there are planning applications in for more new homes and the number of gardai is not growing in line with that.

"I hope this man pulls through. He, along with all people, particularly the elderly, are entitled to feel safe in their homes."

Sinn Fein councillor Ruairi O Murchu said residents are "incredibly disturbed" by the incident.

"This was an elderly man who was gravely injured. The only light is that someone has been arrested. It has shook people here," he said.

He said the Dundalk village was usually "incredibly quiet" but that there was a wider issue with violent crime in the Dundalk area recently.

"There has been a few of these violent attacks. There are major issues that have to be dealt with,"he added.

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