Grieving family's house ransacked on day of funeral
A South Wexford family whose home was broken into and ransacked as they attended a relative's funeral believe local criminals were responsible.
'They were the lowest of the low,' said Bridget Fallon-Simon, from Bridgetown, who with husband Lance and her four children were attending the funeral of her brother in law Michael Bates were the heartless thieves struck.
'Michael built this house and while we were burying him they were breaking in,' a distressed Bridget told this newspaper.
'They hid in the cornfield next door and broke in when we left at about 10.30 a.m. for prayers and a last goodbye to Michael.'
Bridget said the family had now found part of the next door cornfield flattened 'where they had waited for us to leave and a wrapper they had left behind from a chocolate bar they had eaten while they were waiting.. they were clearly locals and had got through a little gap in my ditch not many people would have known about.'
Bridget said it had crossed her mind about leaving the house all day while the funeral was taking place, because it was never normally empty.
She said she believed the thieves had spent most of the day in her house and had been disturbed because while some valuable items had been taken, including vintage pearls given to her by her mother on her wedding day, 'certain things had been left behind'.
'Not only did they rob the place and made such a mess.. they just went into boxes in my bedroom. It was a total invasion of our privacy.'
Cash, jewellery, silver items and numerous christening gifts were taken from the house.
Bridget said that as well as stealing many of the family's most precious sentimental items, the thieves had trashed the house and has smashed their way from room to room, searching through personal papers.
She said the break in was discovered when three of her children returned home at around 7 p.m. and discovered the dog, which had been outside, inside the house. The patio door had been left open by the thieves.
Bridget said she reported the incident to the gardai and she had some names of possible suspects to pass on to them.
'What happened to us seems to be becoming more and more common.. when you go to a funeral you are at your lowest ebb and instead of being left to grieve, we now have this to deal with as well.'
'My sister didn't want this on top of losing Michael so tragically... they (the thieves) didn't have a smidgen of decency,' she said.