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Lead ghouls target home of a dead OAP

By Francesca Ryan

A LOCAL family grieving the death of their elderly father have been left devastated after his home was targeted by heartless thieves. The late Paddy Finnegan’s  home was one of a number of bungalows  inhabited by the old and the infirm in Conor Rise, off the Stewartstown Road, that had lead stripped from the roofs.

The shocked family have  hit out at those behind the theft and asked: “How low are they going to stoop?”

“My father died on March first,” said Patricia Molloy.

“We’ve just handed the keys back to Ark Housing and already his house has been stripped of lead around the roof and chimney.  They did four houses overnight on Thursday.

“It was only a matter of weeks ago that another pensioner here was the victim of this type of theft. These are homes for pensioners and the disabled, everyone here is vulnerable, it’s a disgrace they are being targeted.  How low are they going to stoop?”

“I’m enraged,” added Gina Livingstone, another of Paddy’s daughters.

“For nine months there was someone here with daddy 24 hours a day, we were always with him. He’s only just died and this happens, it’s a disgrace. They targeted a lady who was only just released from hospital after a fall. What is wrong with these people?

“Pensioners are afraid that if they can get on to the roof, they can get into the house. It’s not right that the people living here can’t feel safe in their own homes.”

Jim McShane, Business Operations Manager for Ark Housing, added his voice to the chorus of condemnation.

“I can advise that those properties targeted were all bungalows designed for elderly residents, some of whom have mobility and disability problems,” he said.

“This type of criminal activity only serves to heighten the fear of crime among our elderly population, causing further distress and anxiety and Ark Housing strongly condemns this.

“However, we would also like to reassure our residents that we have been working closely with our own in-house building surveyor and partner contractor in ensuring that all damage where identified is remedied as soon as possible.

“We have also reported this theft to the PSNI, who are currently investigating, and we’ve written to all residents reminding them to be vigilant and to report any further instances directly to ourselves and the PSNI.”


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