As Mrs Winnie Nevin (76) sat in St. Mary’s Church Newtownforbes at the removal of her husband, Martin, over €50,000 in cash was taken from her home and it was left severely ransacked. Clothes were ripped, photograph frames smashed, doors broken, and bed-linen stolen.
Having lived at 44 MacEoin Park, Farnagh, for 35 years, this was the widow’s first experience of a burglary. At 7.30pm on the evening on Monday April 16 last, Mrs Winnie Nevin returned to her home to find it completely ransacked.
“They broke into the house through the back-door. A panel was taken out of it,” her son Martin Nevin (Jnr) told the Leader. “The doors upstairs were broken and everything was ransacked.”
Mrs Winnie Nevin added: “There was a big sum of money taken – my husband’s savings, €50,000. They were in a small wooden box that his brother gave to him over 35 years ago.”
Prior to his passing, Mr Martin Nevin (Snr) was ill for some time and had told his wife and family that these funds were to be used to pay for his funeral and what was left was to be distributed to his family.
“They even took sheets and took out his clothes and ripped them up. We had a big frame of pictures of all the family who had passed away, and that was broken and all thrown about the floor,” said Mr Michael Nevin, another son of Mrs Winnie Nevin.
In response to the theft the Nevin family came together to pay for the funeral expenses.
“All the family chipped in and paid for the funeral,” said Mr Michael Nevin.
The grieving family received support from extended family, friends and neighbours who arrived to help them clean up the ransacked home.
“What can you say to them (the robbers)? They are no strangers anyway. It was within the Travelling community,” said Mr Michael Nevin.
Speaking to the Leader, Longford Gardaí confirmed that they are following a similar line of enquiry.
“We have no evidence to that effect but generally that is the line the investigation is going down. We have no suspects at the moment but the likelihood is that it is someone who knew them,” the spokesperson said, before adding: “We have conducted house-to-house enquiries. There is no CCTV footage in the area. The scene of the crime has been photographed and examined and fingerprints have been lifted. Around €4,000 was located in our search of the area.”
Mr Martin Nevin (Jnr) is appealing to members of the community to come forward if they have any information.
“We would like to know if anybody has seen anything,” he said. “The Gardaí reckon that it had to be a gang. There had to be at least three or four people involved.”
His mother added, “They’ll have no luck after doing something like this.”