A gang of up to four men burgled three houses in Co Monaghan last night, including those of two pensioners.

One of the burglars is believed to have been armed with a shotgun.

The gang entered the house of a woman in her 70s in the Carrickmacross area at around 7pm last night. However, nothing was taken.

An hour later near Castleblaney, they stole a sum of money after entering the house of a man in his 80s.

In a third incident, they broke into an unoccupied house in the Emyvale area but were disturbed by neighbours and fled.