Limerick family tied up and robbed at their home

Gardaí have appealed for information after a family was held and robbed by an armed and masked gang at their home in Co Limerick overnight.

The family who have three young children - two girls and a boy - aged nine, six, and four respectively, were locked in a bathroom in their home in Grange while the four man gang, who were armed with handguns, searched for cash.

The family are said to be shocked after their ordeal. Gardaí said no one was seriously injured.

Superintendent Alan Cunningham said the children were shocked and traumatised by the dramatic events.

"We are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity or cars in the area between 9.30pm and 11pm to contact us here at Bruff Garda station on 061-382940," he said.

The 46-year old father of the three children was tied up with cable ties and forced onto the ground by one of the raiders and threatened.

The armed and masked gang broke into the house at Ballingoola, Grange, located about three miles from Bruff, last night at around 10pm and threatened the family if they did not hand over money.

Gardaí said an amount of cash was stolen but it is unclear at this stage how much was taken.

"We are taking statements from the family at the moment and we will hopefully know more after that," Supt Cunningham said.

"The family were locked into a room and a neighbour next door -- who heard them screaming for help -- came and freed them."

"(The children) are obviously suffering from shock and trauma," he added.

"One of the gang was wearing a high visibility vest. They were all wearing balaclavas."

The father, aged 46, works for the ESB and the mother, 40, is a childminder.

Gardaí said the family were watching television when the gang burst through the front and rear doors.

"These people are very decent people and are just victims of this," Supt Cunningham said.

Gardaí said the gang spoke with Northern-Irish accents.

"They were a professional outfit," a source said.

Gardaí at Bruff are investigating and can be contacted on 061-3982940.

It is the second aggravated burglary in Co Limerick in a week.

Last Friday, Don Reddan, the father of Irish and Leinster rugby star Eoin Reddan, was tied up and threatened by an armed and masked man at his home in Mungret.

The raider, who is believed to have had an accomplice, got away with a small amount of money, Gardaí said.

Mr Reddan, 74, who owns Don Reddan Insurance in Limerick City, managed to free himself after two hours and raise the alarm.

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