A 76-year-old woman has told how she knew she was being "codded up to the eyeballs" by two brothers who stole over €200,000 from her.
Her comments were contained in a victim impact statement read to Galway Circuit Criminal Court today at the sentencing hearing of Thomas and Michael Coen.
The brothers - with an address at 181 Corrib Park, Galway - were each sentenced to six years in prison, with the final 18 months suspended.
They had pleaded guilty to the theft of large amounts of cash from the elderly woman between June 2014 and November 2015.
The woman told gardaí she handed over her life savings because she was intimidated by the men and was too embarrassed to tell her family what was happening.
The bogus handymen, 46-year-old Thomas Coen and Michael Coen, 38, carried out odd jobs in the woman's home and garden, inflating the prices they charged while demanding payment on an almost daily basis over 18 months.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said she was aware the brothers had pleaded guilty to stealing her money and were facing sentence today. She said she was also resigned to the fact she would never get her money back.
She said the ordeal had changed her outlook on life and said she was now seeking a place in a nursing home because she was afraid to return to her own home.
Garda David Foley said Thomas Coen operated a home and garden maintenance company, which he still runs, carrying out tree-topping, power-washing and general maintenance for homeowners.
He said Coen knocked on the reclusive woman's door in 2013 and offered to do work around her house.
She declined, but he called back a year later and she accepted his help then, realising she was no longer able to maintain the property herself.
Gda Foley got a quantity surveyor to assess the work the brothers had carried out at the woman's property and he valued it at just €10,063.