Offaly farmer 'back herding' after brutal burglary attack
The sister of Offaly man Richie McKelvey, who was brutally beaten in his own home in the early hours of Saturday, November 4, has said he is slowly returning to his daily life.
Richie was dragged from his bed and beaten with a steel pole in his yard by a gang of four men who fled with a small amount of cash.
Speaking to Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio this morning, Annette Meacle said the men that attacked her brother were "quite serious" and said they disrupted Richie during a routine Friday night.
“He’s a very private man and he lives a very ordinary farmer's life," she said. "Basically, he did the usual things he always did and then he watched The Late Late Show, tidied around and went up to bed,” she added.
Annette said that Richie sustained injuries like cuts to his head and stiffness, and described the immense courage of a neighbour who helped her brother once he had reached his house following the assault.
“I was very struck and I’m still very struck, as a sister, by the immense courage of that man and his wife who are both in their early seventies.
She said Richie was in "bad shape" when he reached their house and that the man opened his door when Richie called out. "He took Richard into his arms," she added.
Annette took Richie in after the attack and she said she has been overwhelmed by the support shown by the people of Coolderry and her own community of Kilcormac-Killoughey.
She initially thought that Richie wouldn't ever return to his own home again, where he lives alone, but she told Sean O'Rourke that, "I would be confident enough that he will go back to his old ways."
“He’s going back doing a bit of herding and staying for a little while on his own and acclimatising himself,” she said.
Since the incident, Annette has called for cameras on motorways around rural areas as well as more garda resources. Since then, a new Garda Task Force has been established to fight rural crime in the Laois/Offaly division.
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