A Longford County Councillor has told of how he confronted a gang of intruders as they attempted to break into his home in Longford town.
Cllr Gerry Warnock was in the process of going to bed when an eagle eyed neighbour spotted “four or five” individuals climbing into the local politician’s back garden.
The incident, which happened shortly after 11pm at night, was one of a number of similar episodes to hit the town last month.
Despite his initial shock, Cllr Warnock chased the gang from his premises before managing to raise the alarm.
“It was a Thursday night and from what I can remember it was around 11:15pm,” recalled Cllr Warnock.
“I was watching Vincent Browne, but when I decided to go off to bed the doorbell rang.
“Obviously at that stage of the night you are wondering who could possibly be calling, but it was a neighbour who said he saw a couple of fellas jumping the wall and going into my back garden.”
Shocked by what he had just heard, Cllr Warnock ran to the back of his house where he came across “four or five” youths wearing hoodies.
The gang, who were described as being in the “16 to 17” age bracket, quickly fled into a neighbouring garden that lies opposite to Cllr Warnock’s home.
That prompted the Independent representative, who next week takes over as Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council to contact gardai.
“The girl I spoke to on the phone asked if I wanted a car to be sent up.
“I just asked if the estate could be closely examined as four other houses had been rumbled the week before,” he said.
Cllr Warnock, who also serves as Chairperson of Longford’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) said the incident had unnerved him.
More pressing however was the need, he said, for gardai to ensure similar experiences don’t become an unwanted norm.
“It just goes to show you what’s out there,” he said. “I wouldn’t care about myself, it’s the more vulnerable and elderly sections of society that I worry about.”
Cllr Warnock also felt compelled to post his ordeal to his own Facebook page, a decision that has drawn widespread support from fellow constituents.
“The amount of people who have commented on it is unbelievable,” he said. “A lot of people have said they have come across something like what I saw. It’s a thing that seems to be doing the rounds.”