THE Cork businessman twice wounded with a potentially lethal Taser gun before being stun-gunned, knocked down a staircase and robbed, believed he was going to die.
“These guys were animals,” said Hugh Fitzgibbon, 50, as he recovered from a vicious robbery in the antiques shop where he worked. “I thought I was going to die — I thought I’d been shot as there was blood all over the place.” The diamond dealer recalled how he came face-to-face with a gang, believed to be Russian criminals. The harpoon-type barbs of the Taser lodged in Mr Fitzgibbon’s left arm and his side.
Even after he was writhing in pain, his attackers decided to use a stun gun on his right shoulder, which left a large painful burn. His two attackers struck shortly before 3.30pm on Tuesday last, when Mr Fitzgibbon was working in Victoria Antiques, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. Wearing wigs and sunglasses, the men burst into the shop as the diamond dealer was coming down the stairs. They immediately attacked him and then used a lump hammer to smash open display cases.
“This is a level of violence that Ireland simply isn’t used to,” added Mr Fitzgibbon.
Shop owner Frances Lynch said the men helped themselves to bags full of rings, pendants and earrings. “They mainly had diamond stones, although some were sapphires and rubies. We don’t yet know the full value of what they got, but it is going to be considerable,” said Ms Lynch.
Mr Fitzgibbon spent six hours at Cork University Hospital receiving treatment for his wounds. The robbers’ getaway car, which had the registration 95 MN 1146, was found abandoned shortly after 5pm near Boreenmanna Road in the city. Anybody with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street Garda Station at 021 4522000.
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