Garda inquiry into attack on woman (96) 'making progress'
Gardaí have said they are making progress into finding the attackers who assaulted a 96-year-old woman at her home in Co Donegal last weekend. Margaret “Greta” Lilly, of Aghilly, Buncrana, was woken by burglars and punched in the ribs and gagged just after midnight on Saturday.
A Donegal businessman has offered a €5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of those who attacked Ms Lilly.
George McLaughlin, of McLaughlin Motor Factors in Buncrana, said he was disgusted by the attack on the pensioner. He said he had his own personal reasons for offering the cash reward “I am disgusted by the attack as all people are.
“My own mother lives alone and I would not like to think that something like this could happen to her.
“I will quite happily give this reward if someone is caught. Perhaps some of their friends or people who know them will be tempted by the money,” he said.
Garda Insp David Murphy, of Buncrana Garda station, said they were making progress in the case. “We have received a lot of information which we are following up and acting upon as part of our overall inquiry,” he said.
One of those leads concerns a caller to Ms Lilly’s house last Friday who asked to buy an old car in the driveway.
It is understood the man insisted on buying the car for scrap and gained access to Ms Lilly’s house but then left.
Insp Murphy said: “That is one of the avenues we are exploring as part of the overall investigation.”
Ms Lilly, a widow who lives alone, is being treated at Letterkenny General Hospital but her injuries are not serious.
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that a 74-year-old woman was left in a “highly traumatised” state following an aggravated burglary in Co Offaly on Sunday night.
She was at home in Arden View, Tullamore, when a man entered her home at about 9pm and threatened her with an imitation firearm.
He assaulted the woman before escaping with a small amount of money.
While the woman didn’t attend hospital, “she was obviously highly traumatised after it”, a Garda spokesman said.
Meawwhile, a helpline for the elderly has experienced its busiest Christmas and New Year period since it was first established with pensioners expressing concern about issues such as their finances and the emigration of children and grandchildren.
The Senior Helpline logged in the region of 15,000 calls in 2012, up 50 per cent on figures for the previous 12 months.