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OAP attack Three men to appear in court charged over burglary that left Tom Niland critical

Mr Niland remains on life support at Sligo University Hospital.

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Tom Niland

Tom Niland

Tom Niland

Three men will appear before court this evening charged in relation to an aggravated burglary in Co Sligo which left pensioner Tom Niland (73) fighting for his life. 

The trio, aged in their 50s, 30s and 20s, are expected to be charged with aggravated burglary and gardaí are expected to object to bail.

The Sunday World can confirm that two of the suspects are from the Ballina area of Co Mayo and other suspect is from Foxford in Co Mayo.

Mr Niland remains in a critical condition and on life support at Sligo University Hospital.

Three masked men forced their way into Mr Niland’s home at Doonflynn on the N59, Skreen, at approximately 7pm on January 18 and viciously assaulted him.

Mr Niland was left with serious head and upper body injuries.

“They are closely connected to each other and these arrests happened after many weeks of collaboration with Sligo gardai who are leading this investigation with their colleagues in Mayo,” a source previously said.

Within just days of the savage incident, specialist detectives had ruled out involvement of the more prolific burglary gangs that have been operating out of the capital and have been using the motorway network to cause terror in rural communities.

“From an early stage it was clear that this was the work of a local crew. But it took it a lot of investigations before these arrests could be made,” a source explained.

Tom’s cousin Michael Walsh said he was “thrilled” to hear there have been arrests.

“I’m outside the ICU now and I told Tom the news and I hope it might give him a boost.

“I was hoping he might even open his eyes a bit or it might wake him up a bit, but there is still no difference in him.

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“He’s unconscious on a ventilator. He’s just lying there, same as he always was.

“The nurses are working on him constantly, they’re wonderful.

“They are doing their best for him, but it’s very hard to know what the future holds for him."

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