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Assaulted again



TERRIFYING ATTACK Regina Sweeney has once again been viciously assaulted by burglars. She is pictured here on December 3 last at her home-business in Breaffy, after she was attacked by burglars for the first time. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Assaulted again

Castlebar woman attacked twice in her home within months

Edwin McGreal

A Castlebar businesswoman who was assaulted during an aggravated burglary in December has been subjected to another vicious attack this afternoon (Wednesday).
Regina Sweeney (36) was tied to the stairs in her house, hit and choked by two masked men.
They fled when Ms Sweeney managed to sound a panic button that she had on her person and that set off an alarm and alerted gardaí. It’s believed they attackers were there for about two minutes. They rang the doorbell, and Ms Sweeney opened the door to see two men standing there in balaclavas. They led her back into her home, gagged her with masking tape and tied her up.
She was on her own at the time in her bridal boutique business which she runs from her and her husband Declan’s home in Breaffy, just outside the town of Castlebar. Declan is a detective garda in Castlebar.
Ms Sweeney has been taken to hospital following this afternoon's ordeal, but she is expected to be released tonight. She is reported to have marks and bruising on her arms and her neck and is suffering from shock. Her physical injuries are thought to be not serious.
Gardaí are looking into every possible angle on this latest attack, but they working from the belief that this was not a random attack and that Ms Sweeney was personally targeted, although the motive is unclear.
Gardaí in Castlebar are appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the Corheens area of Breaffy, Castlebar, to contact them on 094 9022222.
Ms Sweeney’s home and business is located on a narrow cul-de-sac. There are around 20 other houses on the road, which makes yesterday’s attack in broad daylight by the masked men all the more brazen. The intruders also took a small quantity of cash from the house.
Ms Sweeney, who is a personal friend of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, spoke out after her first ordeal and appeared on the Late Late Show last month in a discussion on rural crime.
In the attack on December 1, she suffered a hairline crack of her cheekbone, bruised kidneys and a shoulder injury. During that attack, she also foiled the intruders and set off the alarm. In doing so, she was pulled back by the hair by one of the men, causing her to hit her head off a wrought-iron coat hanger. She was then pushed against a wall and thrown back against the stairs before passing out.
When she came to, her attackers were gone, with a substantial amount of cash. At the time Ms Sweeney said she could not allow the burglars ruin a business she had worked hard to set-up and that is why she made her brave attempt to foil them.
Her late father Liam Coady was a former driver for Enda Kenny. Mr Kenny was said to be ‘very upset’ last night at the news of this second vicious attack.