NewsCrime Desk

Shopkeeper tells of terror when raider held her by the throat

Regans shop in Ballina (Images via Google Maps)
Regans shop in Ballina (Images via Google Maps)

A shop owner who was grabbed by the throat during a violent attempted robbery has said the incident left her wary of being alone in the store.

The culprit has now been jailed for the attack.

Anne Regan was closing up the family's Regan's Discount Store in Ballina, Co Mayo, in December when a man came in, threatening her and her daughter Ciara with a bottle and demanding money.

Ms Regan was pushed over, before being grabbed by the throat by the man, who then demanded that she open the till and give him money.

It was only when she cried out that her husband John rushed into the store from the back. He and a member of the public gave chase and managed to catch the man.

Last week, Wayne Ryan (36), of Limerick, was given a jail sentence for the attack.

"We have been here 25 years and never experienced anything like that before. I'm certainly more nervous about closing up in the dark evenings," said Mrs Regan.

While the incident only lasted a matter of minutes, she said it felt much longer.

"He had me by the throat. He was terrifying - roaring and shouting. I didn't even know my husband was in the back, I just cried out," she said.

Ms Regan was grateful that she had been attacked and not her daughter.

"I never would have thought anything like this would happen. Before this, I would have had no issue with doing up the (till) floats without the door locked. Now, I wouldn't leave my daughter alone in the shop."

Mrs Regan said the support of the community had been overwhelming.

"People are very good. They are all coming in and checking on me. You work hard in a recession to keep the door open and this is an extra pressure we never needed," she added.