cruel theft | 

Ukrainian couple reveal how their car was broken into after they fled to Ireland

The couple had planned to travel to Cork on Thursday, but this incident has ruined their plans.

Olena and Anass fled Kyiv and arrived in Ireland just two weeks ago

Seoirse Mulgrew

Gardaí are investigating after thieves stole possessions from a car belonging to a Ukrainian couple who arrived in Ireland just two weeks ago after fleeing the war-torn country.

The couple were staying in the Travelodge in Ballymun in north Dublin when they discovered on Thursday morning that their car had been broken into overnight. A laptop, tablet, guitar, clothes and shoes were stolen.

Olena and her husband Anass fled Kyiv as soon as the Russian invasion began. The couple, who did not want their second names revealed, left Ukraine and drove through a number of countries before reaching France.

They then travelled by ferry to Ireland from Cherbourg just under two weeks ago. The couple had planned to travel to Cork on Thursday, but this incident has ruined their plans.

A message from Olena on the GoFundMe page said their experience in Ireland had been very positive until the theft occurred.

“Up until last night, Ireland has been nothing but good to us, for almost two weeks,” Olena said.

“From the Garda officers who welcomed us in Dublin's port, to the workers in the shielding center, and every Irish person we have met, we were overwhelmed by their kindness and support.

“Last night, however, we were victims of a crime that took us by surprise. Someone broke into our car in the underground parking lot of the shielding center.

“He took most of our belongings, which was all we could carry when we left Kyiv under the sounds of bombings. And whatever he left has blood all over it! (Apparently, he cut his hand while breaking the window).”

Olena said gardaí told the couple that they would have to contact their insurance provider for compensation.

A GoFundMe page set up to receive donations to help the couple exceeded its target of €3,000 last night. Over €7,200 has been raised so far for the couple.

“Our insurance wouldn't cover that though, as it's impossible to even reach them now,” Olena said.

“Therefore, we thought about taking matters into our hands by putting our story on GoFundMe, to see if people would be kind enough to help us with fixing the car (the rear window is broken) and buying what we lost (clothes, shoes, laptop, tablet...).

“We appreciate any help. Much love and respect.”

In a statement, gardaí confirmed that they are investigating an incident of theft from a car that occurred on March 24.

“At 4.00am in a hotel car park, a window of the car was damaged, and a number of items were taken,” a garda spokesperson said.

“No arrests have been made, at this time. Investigations are ongoing.”


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