Cllr Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has vowed to mount a campaign to stamp out burglaries and promote home security, after his Cornamagh home was targeted by thieves on Tuesday evening this week.
The councillor and his family were left “traumatised” after Cllr Moran returned home from a council meeting to find his house had been ransacked, a sum of money stolen, and thousands of euros worth of damage caused to the property.
“It’s a frightening time, with what we went through last night. You never think it’s going to happen to you,” a clearly shaken Cllr Moran told the Advertiser on Wednesday.
“My wife left the house at 6.55pm, my father left the house at 7.10pm, and I arrived home from a council meeting at 7.45pm. When I walked into the house I couldn’t find the two dogs, the kitchen door was open, which it never is, and I walked in to find an echo in the kitchen - the window was wide open,” he explained.
Fearing that the intruders might still be in the house, Cllr Moran sought the assistance of a neighbour, who accompanied him as he searched the premises.
“We went through the house room by room. They ransacked the house. They had pulled stuff out and thrown things all over the place. The safe was made bits of on the floor, and they went through personal things in the bedrooms. They took money which was for a family holiday we had planned, which we won’t be able to go on now.
“It was a very professional job. They took the glass out of the kitchen window but didn’t break the glass. They did away with the outside light and disarmed the alarm. They also tried to pry open the back door, and the damage they caused will cost a couple of thousand to fix.”
Cllr Moran also reports seeing a car parked, with its lights on, outside a neighbour’s house, which he believes may have been the getaway car.
He is now resolved to working with the council to combat the ever-increasing levels of home burglaries.
“How do we combat this? There have been a lot of robberies in Athlone and the surrounding area. We should have a seminar in the town, and bring in security firms and experts in locks and windows, to promote home security. I will also be looking into Community Watch programmes. We need to be alerting neighbours when we are going out, as well as making sure we have the mechanical means to protect our homes. We will combat this,” he pledged.
“I’m not highlighting this for sympathy, but so that the most vulnerable people in our communities can be protected. We have all been traumatised; I see what it’s done to myself and my family, friends, and neighbours. I’m not afraid to stand up and talk about this”
Gardai in Athlone confirmed they are investigating a burglary which occurred at a house in the Coosan area on Tuesday evening this week.
They are seeking any witnesses to the break-in, and are particularly anxious for information on any suspicious vehicles seen in the area around the time of the incident.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Athlone Gardai at (090 ) 6492600.