The community spirit displayed by a Fethard pub's patrons has triumphed over a gang of burglars who stole the proceeds of a fundraising drive at the bar for a 24 year-old Clonmel man, who requires major brain surgery in the US.
Lonergan's Pub at The Square in Fethard ran a second fundraiser for the Evan Hickey Fund after four criminals raided the premises last month and made off with a jar full of patrons' donations for the campaign along with the pub's safe, till and a quantity of alcohol.
The fundraising night on Monday, October 9 collected €1120, surpassing the original collection for the cause.
Co. Laois based psychic medium Sandy McSweeney offered her services free of charge and gave readings to customers in return for donations. A raffle for a range of prizes donated by local businesses further boosted the coffers.
Lonergan's proprietors John and Roseann Carroll said the theft of their property was bad enough but they were particularly sickened by the theft of the pub's Evan Hickey Fund jar.
"It was just the lowest of the low to do that. The jar was clearly marked with a picture of Evan on the front of it," said Roseann.
John declared: "I hope they don't have an ounce of luck for it. I really do."
But the generosity of their customers and other locals in Fethard in digging deep in their pockets to raise fund again for the Evan Hickey Fund has heartened the couple.
"We were delighted with the public response. The second time round a lot of people who couldn't come to the fundraising night in the bar threw in €20 each. People are very good and very decent and at least the Fund didn't lose out," said John.
The Carrolls presented the proceeds to Evan's father Joe and brother Andrew at the end of the fundraising night.
Meanwhile, gardai arrested three men in connection with the burglary of Lonergan's. They were subsequently released without change pending the submission of a file on the case to the DPP.
John said the burglars entered Lonergan's around 12.50am on September 13 just 20 minutes after the bar closed.
They scaled a 22ft wall at the back of the premises and their getaway car was parked behind the wall. A neighbour alerted the gardai after spotting them going over the wall.
This is the second time in a year and a half the pub has been burgled.