Jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of euro has been stolen from the home of celebrity solicitor Gerald Keane, after his fiancee Lisa Murphy was robbed at knifepoint.
Four masked men broke into the home at Three Mile Water, Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow at around 8pm on Thursday night and threatened Murphy at knifepoint.
Murphy had just arrived at the house when the gang jumped on her from behind.
They demanded her engagement rings from Mr Kean and her ex-lover, Riverdance star Michael Flatley, before raiding the safe and stealing valuable jewellery, including necklaces, brooches and earrings.
Mr Keane was in Dublin but returned home when he was unable to make contact with Ms Murphy.
Recalling the moment he entered the house, he said: “I heard a scream and she begged me ’Please come’.
“I knew there was an accident and I ran upstairs and then I saw her bound as she was. So I was in an awful state of shock.”
Ms Murphy had arrived home shortly after 8pm and, as she entered the house, the gang, armed with two knives, rushed in after her.
“She turned off the alarm and, as she turned around, she saw a shadow of one of four men who immediately rushed in after her, threw her to the ground and then immediately tied her hands behind her back with that black, heavy plastic tape,” Mr Kean told RTE Radio’s Liveline programme.
“It was very tight.”
The gang, who Mr Kean said were wearing balaclavas and khaki army gear, demanded Ms Murphy give up her engagement rings from Mr Kean and Flatley before ripping one of them from her finger, cutting her in the process.
They also demanded the code for the safe, holding the two knives to her neck and back. They hit her on the back of the head before clearing out the safe and fleeing.
Mr Kean described the men as being in their late 20s/early 30s, with country accents, who knew Ms Murphy by name and were only in the house for up to six minutes. He agreed the robbery was well- planned.
Mr Kean said Ms Murphy did not see any getaway car.
“She’s very upset. Thank God, physically she’s fine, other than a few cuts and bruises,” he said.
Mr Kean, best known for representing a number of high-profile clients, said the robbers tied and bound her to a chair.
Two of the gang were “sympathetic” to her while the others were more aggressive.
Ms Murphy was seen by a doctor and ambulance crew, but she was not taken to hospital.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information who was in the area between 7pm and 9pm or in the week leading up to the burglary and may have seen suspicious activity to come forward.