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'Cowards' steal disabled man's wallet in Co Carlow

By Amy Molloy

The sister of a young disabled man who was mugged in a local park has described the people who targeted him as "cowards".

Eoin Harte, who is from Co Carlow, had been enjoying the nice weather on Sunday when he was targeted by two teenage boys.

While leaving the Town Park in Graiguecullen, his sister claimed two boys jumped out from behind him, switched his electric chair to manual and stole his wallet.

She said this is the second time such an incident has happened to her brother.

"They rummaged through his bag on his back and located his wallet, took his wallet and then turned the power chair back so he could use it and absconded on the one bike that they were sharing," Roisin Harte told KCLR 96FM.

"This isn’t the first time it happened to him, it’s happened before. He’s had other struggles in life and we won’t allow this to define him or make him weaker but obviously he’s in shock.

"Anyone who is robbed, but especially someone who is so defenceless...it is such a cowardly thing to do," she added.

Ms Harte described it as a "disgusting" act, but said her brother will continue to go around the area independently.

"He is very resilient, he’s very strong and he’ll continue to go around Graiguecullen.

"It is a very disgusting act, there is no other word to describe it."

Fianna Fáil Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor, who knows Eoin personally, also condemned the act.

"To think that this would happen, especially a second time, it is just uncalled for. I don’t know what type of a person would do this," she told KCLR.

She also called for CCTV and better lighting to be installed in the park to help prevent further incidents like this occurring.

A garda spokesman confirmed that investigations are ongoing into the incident.

"Gardaí are investigating an incident of theft that occurred at Town Park, Sleaty Street, Graiguecullen, County Carlow on 26th March 2017 at approximately 2.30pm. A man, early 30’s, was approached by two males who stole property from the man. No injuries were reported.

"A male juvenile was arrested in connection with this investigation a short time. He was detained at Carlow Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 and released from Garda custody without charge. Investigations are ongoing."

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