Friday, February 03, 2017

Limerick priest tied up in aggravated burglary after returning home from mass

A parish priest in Limerick was tied up in an aggravated burglary after returning home from mass on Wednesday night.

Canon Tony O'Keeffe of Shanagolden, West Limerick returned home from mass to find three masked men waiting for him.

The priest in his 60's was subsequently tied up and money was taken in the robbery.

Local TD Niall Collins told the Irish Mirror: "After saying mass in Foynes he returned to his home in Shanagolden and was confronted by three men in the house waiting for him.
  
"It was described as an aggravated burglary, they tied him up and they forced him to open the safe and then locked him in a back room.

"They got away with some contents of the safe."
Canon O'Keeffe was uninjured after the incident but was left very shocked after the burglary.

Mr Collins added: "He was very shaken up after the incident but wasn't hurt. It just shows the vulnerability of living alone, it seems like it was planned the way they knew when he would be home from mass. It is a quite shocking incident, people around the area are very upset by it."

Gardai sent out a text alert in the local area after the incident warning people and asking for anyone with any information to contact them.

An incident room was also set up in the local garda station.

A Garda spokesperson said: "Gardaí at Newcastlewest are investigating an aggravated burglary at a house which occurred on the 1st Feb 2017. A male occupant was confronted by 3 males who entered the house.
"They locked the man in an upstairs room and ransacked the house. The man was not threatened or injured. He managed to free himself after a period of time and raised the alarm. The 3 men had fled the scene sometime previously. The scene was preserved for technical examination. The men are described as mid 20s of average height and were all wearing hoodies."

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen any activity in the vicinity of the Parochial House in Shanagolden, Co. Limerick, between 6pm and 9pm on the 1/2/2017, to make contact with the Gardaí in Newcastlewest on 069-20650, the Confidential Line - 1800 666111 or Crimestoppers - 1800 250025.

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