News

Dublin Searches Following Roscrea Burglary

Thursday, 18 May 2017

GARDAI have conducted a number of searches in Dublin city as part of their ongoing investigation into an aggravated burglary, which left a 94-year-old Roscrea man in hospital with head injuries last week.

Four searches were carried out by Gardaí and a number of items of property relating to the investigation were recovered, a Garda source told the Tribune this week.

It is understood the Gardai are also investigating if the same criminals targeted the same home in Roscrea before and returned to the property to carry out a second burglary.

The Gardai say the criminals are members of an organised gang that attacked Jim and Maura Campion while burgling their home, located across from the old Christian Brothers school on the Old Dublin Road last weekend.

Senior Gardaí leading the investigation say they have been tracking the gang for some time and they are suspects in a spate of burglaries in Munster and Connacht over the past two years.

The gang is under investigation for other home invasion burglaries around the country and Gardai believe they may have been involved in stealing boats in Dublin.

During the attack the gang members assaulted Mr Campion with his own walking stick, inflicting head wounds requiring several stitches and the criminals fled the scene with a small amount of cash after ransacking the elderly couple's home.

On Saturday morning Gardai searched a number of premises in the Dublin city area, including a halting site and seized clothing, mobile phones and other items of interest in the investigation into the aggravated burglary in Roscrea.

Mr Campion is said to be making a good recovery from his injuries after being discharged from the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise last week.

Meanwhile, the aggravated burglary was raised in the Dail last week, when Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, described the attack on the Campions as 'an attack of cowardice and wanton brutality' and 'unforgivable in so many ways.'

The issue was raised in the Dail by Kerry Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, who described the gang that attacked the Roscrea couple as 'scumbags' who should be 'tagged for life when they're caught.'

'They are the worst type of cowardly blackguards that God ever had the misfortune to create and bring into this world. They are horrible people,' he said in the Dail last Wednesday (May 10th).

'They broke his walking stick over his head. They ransacked his house and stole money,' Deputy Healy-Rae said.

'Unfortunately, it is not the first time it has happened and probably will not be the last. I hope Mr Campion is making a recovery,' he added.

The Taoiseach said he hoped the Gardai in Roscrea found those responsible and that the Judge would deal with them when they were brought before the courts.

Deputy Healy-Rae said he wanted to see the criminals face the full weight of the law and be dealt with strongly. 'There is free legal aid and every sort of pampering and nonsense for them. The full rigours of the law must be applied to them,' he said.

He said everybody had parents or grandparents who grew old and frail and they must be protected and that succeeding in this is how 'we will be judged as politicians.'

Deputy Healy-Rae pleaded for the Taoiseach and the Government to be as pro-active as possible about the issue, because what was happening 'should not be tolerated,' he said.

Responding, the Taoiseach said the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015 was targeted at burglars with previous convictions and who were charged with multiple residential break-ins and requires the courts to provide for consecutive jail sentences when a burglar was being sentenced for multiple offences.

The Act enables courts to refuse bail to offenders who have a previous conviction for domestic burglary.

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