Belfast Telegraph

Help me recover items that mean so much to me, says burgled Lurgan mum

Claire Louise Mooney with baby Betty Grace, sons Drew and Kenan and husband Joseph
Claire Louise Mooney with baby Betty Grace, sons Drew and Kenan and husband Joseph

By Stephanie Bell

A Co Armagh mum has made an emotional appeal for the return of sentimental items stolen during a burglary in her home while she and her three children slept on Sunday night.

Dance school teacher Claire Louise Mooney, her six-week-old baby Betty Grace and sons Drew (3) and Kenan (17) were asleep in their Lurgan home when thieves raided it taking Christmas presents, a passport, handbag and the family car.

It wasn't until she got up on Monday morning and noticed drawers in her kitchen pulled out that Claire Louise realised someone had been in her home.

Claire Louise, owner of MMD Studios dance school in Lurgan, is most upset by the loss of gifts from her students which were in her handbag.

She recalled: "When I came downstairs on Monday morning I saw the drawers lying open and then noticed my keys were gone and I looked out and saw that the car wasn't there.

"It was an awful shock to think someone had been in the house and I am just so relieved that the children slept through it.

"I had bought 10 tickets for an event in the SSE Arena next year as Christmas presents which cost £500 and they were gone, although I have since cancelled them.

"I also had lots of Rushmere shopping vouchers in my handbag which were given to me by friends as gifts at my baby shower recently but I don't care about the money. I had keyrings in my bag from my students which I would love to get back. My son's passport was also taken." Claire Louise's husband Joseph, who is a joiner, was working in England when the raid on their home took place and immediately flew home on Monday to be with his family. Their car was found later on Monday in Belfast but unfortunately none of her belongings were inside.

Claire Louise is hoping that the burglars dumped her bag and is appealing to the public if they find it to hand it in. She said: "I probably will never see it again but just in case someone does find it, it was a black River Island handbag. The keyrings and other wee things inside it mean so much to me and yet they would be of no value to anyone so hopefully someone will find it and I will get it back."

It is believed the burglars used a bin to climb over a locked gate to enter the house from the back although there were no signs of a break in.

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