‘He had a long knife up to my throat’, sister speaks of ‘awful fright’ during burglary

More than €30,000 raised for siblings Mary and Gerry O’Halloran since robbery

A woman who was robbed with her brother in Cork on Sunday said a knife was held to both their throats during the violent burglary.

Mary O’Halloran (84) her brother Gerry O’Halloran (79) was “still shaken” after the ordeal. A fundraising drive for the elderly siblings has reached more than €30,000.

Shortly after 7.30am on Sunday the pair were threatened by a male intruder in the course of an aggravated burglary at a house on Boyce’s Street in Gurranabraher on the northside of Cork city. The thief fled the scene on foot with a sum of cash.

Speaking on the 96FM Opinion Line with PJ Coogan on Monday Ms O’Halloran said she was trying to get over the ordeal. While her brother wasn’t physically hurt during the burglary, he was badly frightened, she explained.


“We got an awful fright. I’m not feeling too bad today just trying to get over it. Gerry is still in hospital. He was not hurt but is shaken so they kept him in and I went home as I’m looking after my sister as well. I go up to him (Gerry) every Saturday and Sunday morning. I get up early and get stuff ready for him for his home help.”

“That’s what I was doing [ON SUNDAY], but I couldn’t get in as the fella had the door locked.”

“He had a knife up to us, a long knife with a blade on it. He had it up to my throat and to Gerry’s as well because he wanted money off us. We couldn’t do anything else but to give it because he was going to stab us.”

She said the intruder cut the phone line so they could not call anyone for help.

She added that Gerry wanted to move house before this, and he has been waiting on a transfer for eight years. “They have to do something.”

A significant sum of money was stolen during the incident. “They got €800 off of my brother and €1000 off of me.”

She sustained a minor knife wound to her hand in the burglary at her brother’s home in sheltered accommodation in the city.

The intruder left the scene on foot with the man’s life savings and his sister’s hand-bag.

Both victims were treated at the scene by emergency services. Their injuries are described as non-life-threatening.

Paramedics Keith Harrington and Sean Healy were so moved by what occurred that they set up a GoFundMe page online to financially assist the siblings.

“They are an elderly brother and sister and have been deeply traumatised by their experience. They were held at knifepoint in their home for over an hour. They are now being treated in the Mercy hospital. It would be great if we could alleviate their financial worries at least,” they said in their appeal on behalf of the siblings.

Investigating gardaí have appealed for information and say they are keen to speak with anyone who was in the vicinity of Boyce’s Street or neighbouring streets between 6.30am and 9am who may have witnessed anything.

They are also appealing to road users with video footage from the Gurranabraher area between those times, to make it available to them.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Gurranabraher Garda station on 021-4946200, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111, or any Garda station.