Woman’s death blamed on attack

The nephew of a pensioner who died weeks after she was battered during a burglary has blamed her attackers for her death.

Suzi Arthur, 89, died at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal three months after she was thrown to the ground by a gang in July.

Mrs Arthur broke her hip and never walked again.

Her nephew, Joe McKean, now says those who broke into Suzi’s home in Feddyglass, Raphoe, are responsible for her death.

“I hope they spent the few euro they got from her well because it cost Suzi her life. I have no doubt of that,” said Mr McKean. “I hope they can live with their conscience after what they did and how they treated Suzi and her sister, Isa.”

Mr McKean, who regularly called in on the sisters, was on the scene within minutes of their ordeal.

Isa, 91, shared a home with Suzi and was last night in shock at her sister’s passing.

Vicky Gallagher and a friend were driving home from work just after 5pm on Jul 1 when they came across Isa wandering in the road trying to summon help.

Ms Gallagher said: “We were both very sad and angry to hear that Suzi had passed away.

“We were just happy that we could have helped her on the day and we were hopeful she was going to make a full recovery but that never happened.

“We are very sorry for her sister Isa and for her family and friends. She didn’t deserve to die like this.”

At the time, Isa told how the gang called to the property offering to paint it, and, hours later, smashed their way into the house.

The raiders threw Suzi to the ground, breaking her hip, before ransacking the property on the main Letterkenny to Lifford Rd.

They cut the telephone wires in the house, which automatically disabled the pendant alarm that Isa had hanging around her neck.

Isa said at the time: “I was out in the garden and when I came in they shoved me into the living room. I saw Suzi on the ground and she couldn’t get up.

“I tried to shout that I was getting a gun but they were too strong for me. I just wished I had more strength to fight back.

“They searched the house looking for stuff and ransacked Suzi’s bedroom, but we don’t have anything.”

The raid in July was the sixth such incident at the sisters’ home. A gang once stole turkeys the women had been breeding for the Christmas market.

Garda have carried out an investigation but nobody has yet been arrested for the July raid.

Local county councillor Frank McBrearty has called for the full rigours of the law to be used to track down the gang.

“This is not the first incident of its kind and unfortunately it won’t be the last,” he said.

“The time for talking has ended and we need policies put in place to make sure this does not happen again.”

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