Businessman ‘sickened’ by fourth robbery at rural shop

A SHOP OWNER who has been targeted by thieves for the fourth time has spoken of how the local community has rallied round to offer him support in difficult times.

O’Neill’s Mace shop at Dernawilt – a landmark on the main Lisnaskea to Roslea Road – was broken into and large sum of cash and cigarettes were stolen in an early morning burglary.
The rural shop which also operates the Post Office and petrol pumps has been targeted four times over the past number of years.
On this occasion, a large sum of cash and cigarettes were taken and extensive damage was caused during the burglary which is believed to have occurred between midnight and 4am.
Last year, the store underwent a big refurbishment and teamed up with Mace, and it is not yet known the extent of the damage caused.
Owner of the shop Jim O’Neill has expressed his dismay about the incident, saying, “It is what it is. The community around us have been great, and they have offered us a lot of support. Some people came around to help us with the clean up at the time – they have been very good.
“It was a bit of shock for some of the staff, particularly the girl who opened up the morning of the burglary – It was a big shock for her to get.”
Jim also revealed that this is the second time the shop has been burgled and there was previously two armed robberies a number of years ago.
“This is the fourth time since I have been here, and we are just getting sick of it now.
If anyone did see anything in the area around the time of the incident, I would appeal for people to please pass on the information to the police,” explain Mr O’Neill.
Local Councillor Brian McCaffrey was outraged at this attack in the local community.
“Rural shops and Post Offices are already under pressure, and they do not need this sort of thing happening. It impacts on the running costs, cost of repair and the replacement on equipment. On top of that it has an impact on those working there, and at the end of the day, this is not just a burglary, it is an attack on the community and the facilities the shop provides.”
A spokesman for the police who are investigating the burglary appealed for witnesses saying,
“It is disgraceful that shops like this, part of our community, should be victims of this crime.
So we are appealing to anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area between midnight and 4am to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 195 4/10/18.”

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