Farmer beaten with hurley during robbery at his home

Wife of ex-Limerick hurler says arm was broken as he tried to prevent gang member leaving

A former Limerick hurler has undergone surgery in hospital after sustaining injuries to his head and arm during a botched robbery at his home.

Father-of-two George Boyle, who played for Limerick in the late '70s and early '80s, was hit across the head twice as he clung to a raider who he was chasing from his home in Murroe, Co Limerick.

Mr Boyle (54), a farmer, had to receive 20 stitches to his head subsequently and sustained a broken arm when was beaten by one of up to six raiders as they set about making their getaway in a black Volkswagen car.

The drama unfolded at about 3pm on Monday when Mr Boyle drove into the front entrance of the bungalow and saw a number of men running from the house.


Speaking from the family home, George’s wife Bernie said: “He tried to catch hold of one of them. Their car was picking them up the road from the house. They got a hurley belonging to my daughter and they gave him a couple of slaps on the head. He had to get stitches and his arm was broken because he was protecting his head.”

Mr Boyle was discovered by a neighbour seriously injured and bleeding on a road about 100 yards from his home.

Ms Boyle added: “I was afraid that they had hit him here inside the house. I saw him after he was in with the doctors and his head was all cut and stitched and he was all covered in blood.”

She said that at the time her husband was assaulted, gardaí­ were in the vicinity trying to track down the gang after they had broken into another two properties nearby.

“It’s just so upsetting. All he was doing was protecting his home,” she said.

Mr Boyle underwent surgery at University Hospital Limerick yesterday afternoon. Doctors were placing pins and screws into his arm to hold it together.

Ms Boyle praised her neighbours for their help. She said she had been out with her daughter Susan (25) at the time, and otherwise would probably have been present when the gang broke in.

“You can’t live in that fear though, sure you can’t? You have to face this down,” she said.

“It’s not a nice scene to see coming home, with all the Garda cars in the front drive and everything around the place. It was a shock,” she said.

Ms Boyle and her son Kevin (21) and daughter were “in shock”. The gang had burst through the rear door of the family home and caused damage to the kitchen and bedrooms.

“George was just hoping he could cling to yer man and just hold onto him. You work so hard for your livelihood... he’s a good farmer.”

She said the family were nervous following the botched robbery: “You just pick yourself up don’t you, and just try and face it down. But it’s not that easy either. You’re just [living] on your nerves and on tenterhooks.”

Gardaí­ at Bruff are investigating.

Det Garda Michael Reidy said: "We are appealing for anyone who saw the black Volkswagen car with a possible partial registration plate '02 G' to contact us on 061-382940."