The men, in their 20s, broke into the 68-year-old woman’s Waterford home last Saturday morning and tied her to a bed.
They then repeatedly beat her until she revealed where she kept her money. But gardaí said the men still weren’t satisfied and dragged her outside, tied her to a fence and beat her again.
The attack took place at 4.30am after the men broke in through the rear window of the woman’s house at Drumgelane, Grange, Ardmore. She managed to free herself nearly five hours later and contacted the emergency services.
The woman is recovering in Waterford Regional Hospital.
Inspector Paul Heffernan said gardaí were anxious for the public’s help in catching the gang who subjected the pensioner “to a horrific ordeal”.
He said the robbers had Irish accents. Two of them were wearing red jackets and the other had a green or yellow jacket on.
Two of the attackers are described as being tall. One was stocky, while the other was said to have an athletic build.
Both had blue eyes and one of them had fair hair.
Inspector Heffernan said the men left the house in a car probably about 5am.
“They could have driven back to the main Youghal – Dungarvan road (N25), or back towards Clashmore. We are anxious to hear from anybody who may have seen these men in the car. They might also have decided to stake out the house earlier. So we want to speak to anybody who saw anything suspicious from 2am onwards,” said Inspector Heffernan.
Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmons described the attack as the lowest form of crime.
“To rob somebody in their home is bad, but to carry out that level of violence against them is shocking,” Mr Timmons said.
Muintir Na Tíre president Martin Quinn condemned “the callous attack on an elderly lady in the privacy her own home”.
“This is a time of year when older people will be feeling vulnerable and communities should take the opportunity to visit the them and offer assurance. All it takes is a few minutes to call in and make sure they are okay,” Mr Quinn said.
Last month Paddy Barry, the grandfather of television magician Keith Barry, died following a robbery at his home. His grandson called for tougher laws to tackle criminals who break into pensioners’ homes.
Age Action also warned older people to take precautions at home by locking up and putting a chain on the door.
Meanwhile, the Law Reform Commission is drafting a bill on legislation to tackle rules around break-ins and what a householder can do to protect themselves.
Homeowners have been urged to have their say on how to protect themselves against criminals breaking into their property by giving their views to the Dáil’s joint committee on justice.
* Anybody with information on the robbery is asked to contact Dungarvan Garda station at (058) 48600.