A County Longford businessman is facing financial heartache this week after vandals ransacked his neatly furnished bungalow, stripping the property of its copper fittings and causing several thousand euros worth of damage.
Edgeworthstown businessman Alec Kane could hardly believe his eyes when he turned the key in the front door of the two bedroom dwelling that lies just yards from his long established business, Kanes Motors Ltd in the busy mid Longford town last week.
Inside, the plain talking entrepreneur, who this year is celebrating his 58th year in business, found debris strewn across the floor, brought about by attempts to rip a copper cylinder from the wall.
In the adjoining rear room, which now barely resembles the cottage’s once quaint bathroom area, a bathing tub was left dislodged as raiders made off with a handful of metal fittings and brass nuts.
Of more significance however has been the huge flood damage to the property’s floorboards during the raiders’ efforts to prise the cylinder and bath fittings from the wall.
“To put back the copper cylinder and with all the damage, it’s going to cost me at least €12,000 to put right. The floors are useless, completely useless. It’s a terror that fellas would do that,” said Mr Kane.
In recent months, the detached residence had been rented out to tenants. It was only three days after a previous lease had expired that the house was targeted.
Staring back at its front entrance, the experienced businessman said the raid was likely to have been well planned.
“They (theives) put mattresses up over the windows so you couldn’t see what they were at. It was obviously early morning when it was done,” he claimed.
Despite managing to avoid the spectre of opportunist crime in recent weeks, Mr Kane told of how the past four months in particular had taken its toll on both himself and his various business interests.
“Since Christmas I have had 15 robberies,” he almost casually stated. “It’s getting hard to stick at it. I feel like getting out to Australia because this country has had it.
“The future is very bleak. I am in business 58 years and at one stage I had over 200 people employed so I could do without this kind of thing. The people who done this don’t realise the amount of damage they have caused,” he added.