Gardaí in Co Westmeath are searching for three men who broke into the home of an elderly couple over the weekend and robbed them at knifepoint.
The incident happened in Churchtown, near Ballynacarrigy in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Raiders smashed a pane of glass on the front door to gain entry.
One intruder knocked the woman, aged in her 80s to the ground and threatened her husband, a 75-year-old-deaf man, with a knife during the incident.
It is understood that a legally-owned firearm and around €500 were stolen from the house.
After the raiders had escaped, the elderly woman went outside the house and stopped a passing motorist to ask for help.
"Three young males entered the house and terrified the elderly couple in the house," Sergeant Kieran Williams told Midlands 103.
"We're appealing for anybody that saw anythong suspicious in the Churchtown/Ballynacarrigy area of Co Westmeath on Saturday morning [to contact us on 044 9384000]."
Local TD Willie Penrose, who is related to the couple, described the incident as “contemptible and reprehensible”.
“All of the community around Ballynacarrig and Emper and Milltown and everywhere else quite rightly condemns it with all the vigour and determination they can muster,” he said.
“And, like all right-thinking citizens across this country we hope that those cowardly culprits are brought to justice.”