Grandfather fights for life after thieves stab him as he lies in bed
A disabled Co Armagh grandfather was fighting for his life last night after three thieves stabbed him as he lay helpless in his bed.
The men broke into his house and wounded him in the stomach before they made off with an undisclosed sum of money in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The man was named locally as Eugene Carr, aged in his 70s who lived alone in Clogharevan Park in Bessbrook village.
He is currently being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast surrounded by his family.
His condition was described last night as "critical".
Detective Inspector Harry Colgan appealed for witnesses to come forward with information.
He said: "At approximately 2.40am, police received a report that three men had broken into a house and entered a bedroom where the elderly, disabled male occupant of the house was in bed.
"They then proceeded to assault him with a sharp implement.
"He received several wounds to his body as a result of this assault."
Mr Carr was initially treated for his injuries at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry before being moved to Belfast for treatment.
Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said last night: "This was a despicable act and I am horrified that a gang would target an elderly, disabled man.
"There is no place in society for behaviour like this and those responsible need to be taken off the streets."
Councillor Roisin Mulgrew also condemned the attack as a "vile, cowardly attack on a pensioner".
The Sinn Fein councillor for the area visited Mr Carr's neighbours and other vulnerable elderly people in the village to "reassure them that attacks like this were rare".
"I'm gravely worried for Mr Carr and I know that he and his family will be going through a dark period over the next 24 hours," she said.
"We are lucky that this horrendous attack is not a murder investigation and people with any information need to help the police to find these thugs."
Gerard Hughes, chairperson of the Bessbrook Community Association, described Mr Carr as "an ordinary wee pensioner living an ordinary, wee quiet life."
"Eugene is a completely inoffensive person.
"No-one in the village can understand the sense behind this disgusting attack on an elderly man who lives on his own.
"It completely baffles us.
"It's not that he would have had much money about him either.
"There is no way that Eugene would have been able to put up any struggle to these people as he is very weak."
Mr Hughes says that Mr Carr is well-known in the village and is regularly spotted using a walking aid as he goes to the shops and drives to Mass.
He added: "Eugene was not too good on his feet and would have had to park as close as possible to the entrance of the church whenever he went.
"The village is completely shocked by this and I would urge if anyone has any information on this, go to the police.
"We don't want these people on our streets.
"We don't want anything to do with them."
Bessbrook Community Residents' Association said on Facebook yesterday: "We do not need these thugs in our community."