Terrified family held by armed and masked men

DUP MLA William Irwin at Annahugh Park Ballyhegan where an armed robbery took place
DUP MLA William Irwin at Annahugh Park Ballyhegan where an armed robbery took place

A family has been left traumatised after three armed and masked men held them captive before robbing their Portadown home.

Seamus McGeough revealed how the men smashed down his front door and ransacked the house on Tuesday night

His wife Carole and son Seamus (22) were both held by the masked men as they demanded cash from the 61-year-old Ballyhegan man.

Seamus said: “I was going upstairs to get dressed to go out. The next thing the front door came in and I heard this awful banging and the wife was squealing.

“Three masked men came in, one with a hammer and two with a jemmy bar. They had kicked the door in. Two of them held my wife and one of them held my son.

“The big boy then came up the stairs to me and him and me struggled a bit.

“I have a bad heart. He pushed me into the bedroom and threw me on the ground. He was looking a safe.”

Seamus said he told him where the safe was but said that he didn’t have the key in the house. He said one of the men downstairs appeared to get anxious and told the man upstairs to hurry up.

Seamus said the man then prised the safe with the jemmy bar and took it with him.

The local man said he didn’t know why his house, ‘a council house in Annahugh’ was targeted in this manner.

Seamus said he felt ‘deliberately targeted by the gang’.

“My wife and son are very badly shaken up about it,” said Seamus. “They (the culprits) were only in the house five minutes, but it is a long five minutes. I don’t understand how they knew there was a safe in the house. Only a few people knew.”

Police said they are investigating reports of an aggravated burglary in the Annahugh Road area of Loughgall on Tuesday, January 29.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “It was reported that sometime around 8.20pm three males forced their way into a house in the area and made off with a small safe and a sum of cash. Two males and a female who were in the house at the time were not injured but left shaken by their ordeal.

“Detectives are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone who has any information that can assist with the investigation to contact Detectives in Lurgan on 101 quoting reference 1216 29/01/19. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

DUP MLA William Irwin has slammed the robbery as ‘outrageous’.

Mr Irwin said: “I know the family well and what was visited on them last night is nothing short of atrocious and scandalous.

“Three thugs armed with iron bars smashed their way into the property through the front door. The home owner struggled bravely with one of the assailants before the cowardly attackers demanded cash and eventually left the house. This is a shocking attack and understandably the family have been totally traumatised by this incident.

“They are in my thoughts and prayers as they try and get over the shock of what they have been subjected to.”

Mr Irwin said, “I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area of Annahugh Park last night around 8pm to report it immediately to the PSNI. It is important that the criminals behind this attack are apprehended immediately.”