Violent thugs targeted elderly couple’s nest egg
THE raiders who targeted elderly couple Jimmy and Maura Campion are believed to be a ‘particularly violent’ gang who have been terrorising Tipperary in recent months.
Brave former hurler Jimmy (94) confronted the two thugs after they forced their way into his house at Old Dublin Road through a side window shortly before midnight on Sunday.
But the burglars grabbed his walking stick and struck him twice over the head before ransacking the house.
They made off with a nest egg that had been built up by Mr Campion and his 87-yearold wife, Maura, from their savings out of their weekly pensions. Gardaí estimated last night that the burglars made off with cash in excess of “a couple of thousand euro”.
Investigators believe that the couple were robbed by a gang who have carried out a spate of burglaries in Co Tipperary in recent months.
The gang were described as ‘particularly violent’ despite the age of their victims.
The Campions and some of their neighbours have been victims of burglaries in the past and gardaí are trying to establish if there is a link between the crimes.
As the thugs fled from the scene, Mrs Campion alerted gardaí and the ambulance service.
Her husband, who was bleeding from a head wound, was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise where his wound was stitched.
He was kept in overnight in the hospital but was recovering at home last night, and was said to be in good form.
“He was a good hurler and a tough one in his day and he never shirked a challenge”, one garda said last night.
Gardaí have completed a forensic examination at the house and a laneway, which was used by the thugs to gain access to the side window.
They have also examined CCTV footage from cameras in the vicinity to pinpoint the escape route taken by the burglars.
Gardaí at Roscrea station have renewed their appeal for help from anybody who was either walking or driving in the Old Dublin Road area and noticed people acting suspiciously between 11pm and 11.45pm on Sunday. T
hey have asked with information to either contact the investigation team at 0505 24230 or to phone the confidential line on 1800 666111.
A previous burglary at the Campions’ home took place while the couple were attending Mass in the town.