Heartless attack’ – Man, 73, on life support after ‘vicious’ assault at home by three burglars
28 mins ago
A 73-year-old Sligo man, who was beaten in his own home by three burglars and left with serious head injuries in a ‘heartless’ attack is now on life support, gardai have revealed.
Despite his injuries, the man had to crawl from his home on the N59, near Skreen, Co Sligo to try and get help.
On the evening of Tuesday, January 18, Thomas Niland answered a knock at the door of his house near Skreen, Co Sligo.© Provided by Extra.ie When he opened the door, Mr Niland was immediately attacked by three masked men who forced their way into his home. Pic: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images
When he opened the door, Mr Niland was attacked by three masked men who forced their way into his home. Mr Niland was subjected to a vicious assault, which left him with serious head and upper body injuries. It is believed his eye socket was broken in the attack.
Mr Niland’s assailants then stole a small sum of money.
Despite his injuries, Mr Niland managed to crawl to the roadside to raise the alarm. A passing motorist spotted him and gardai were then alerted by neighbours.
Mr Niland was rushed to Sligo University Hospital. Since then, his condition has deteriorated. He is now on life support.© Provided by Extra.ie Gardai believe that Mr Niland’s attackers arrived in a car, which reversed into the driveway of his home. Gardai are unsure whether a fourth person stayed in the car during the attack. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
Gardai believe that Mr Niland’s attackers arrived in a car, which reversed into the driveway of his home. Gardai are unsure whether a fourth person stayed in the car during the attack.
Gardai immediately launched a large scale investigation, with checkpoints and house-to-house enquires conducted.
Gardai have also recovered hours of CCTV footage, taken a number of statements and developed a number of lines of enquiry, including forensic analysis of the scene by crime scene officers.
Today, at a press briefing in Sligo, Superintendent Mandy Gaynor said ‘no stone will be unturned’ in their search for Mr Niland’s attackers.
Superintendent Gaynor also made an appeal for anyone with information on this ‘vicious and cowardly’ burglary to come forward.© Provided by Extra.ie A woman has been arrested in connection with an assault in Limerick on Friday night. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins
A spokesperson said: ‘Gardaí are appealing to every person who was driving along the N59 (Sligo/ Ballina Road), in the Skreen area, on Tuesday 18th January between 4pm – 8pm, who may have dashcam or any other video footage to contact investigating gardaí.
‘Gardaí are appealing for any person, who noticed any activity by persons or vehicles which drew their attention, in the wider N59 Skreen locality to contact Gardaí with that information, whether you think it is related to this investigation or not.
Superintendent Mandy Gaynor, Sligo Garda Station also made an appeal:
‘There are people out there who know who was involved in this aggravated burglary and serious assault on an elderly man in his home.
‘Thomas Niland and his family deserve to have these criminals who carried out this heartless act brought to justice.’
Anyone with information should contact Sligo Garda Station on 071 915 7000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.’