Gardaí are trying to gather intelligence and assemble evidence in their hunt for a six-man gang behind a “heartless” aggravated burglary in north Dublin.
A young woman, Eve Ryan, publicised the incident on social media, saying her attackers put “knives to her neck and screwdrivers to her eyes” in the ordeal.
The 24-year-old said they threw bleach over her and demanded to know where her jewellery and money was, before locking her into a toilet, where she spent 20 hours before being rescued.
Her grandmother, who suffers from dementia, was also in the house at the time.
The burglary occurred last Thursday evening on a house on Strand Road, Portmarnock, north Co Dublin.
In a social media post, Ms Ryan said she went upstairs at around 7pm last Thursday to find six men with balaclavas in the house.
“They put knives to my neck and screwdrivers to my eyes,” she said. “They threw bleach on me and asked where the jewellery and money was.”
She said she was never so terrified in her life: “All I kept saying was please, please don't hurt my granny.”
Ms Ryan, a model by profession, said they dragged her by the hair into an ensuite toilet, which has no window, and, after taking her iPhoneXS, locked her in.
She said they left shortly after and that she banged on the door and walls to attract her grandmother, but she was unable to help her or ring 999 because of her dementia.
I was locked in the toilet for 20 hours. I was absolutely freezing.
She was rescued when her aunt called to the house, just after 2pm on Friday, and heard her screaming. A neighbour helped to kick the doors down.
She said they have CCTV around the house, as well as gates, and three dogs. She said the burglars had a “very distinctive Irish accent”.
A garda source described the nature of the burglary as “heartless”.
It is understood that gardaí have, so far, no main lines of inquiry and are gathering forensic evidence and examining CCTV footage for any clues.
“We are gathering all the evidence and hope to get good intelligence,” said one source.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information, particularly any road users who happened to be travelling on the Coast Road between Baldoyle and Portmarnock between 6.30pm and 8pm on January 9 to contact Gardaí.
Contact Malahide Garda station on 01 666 4600 or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.