Gardaí are appealing for information after a man was assaulted and locked in a shed during an aggravated burglary in Co Offaly.

The incident began at around 2am when four men forced their way into the man's farmhouse at Glasderrybeg, Brosna, near Birr.

The man, a farmer in his mid-50s and who lives alone, was assaulted and then forced into a shed.

He managed to escape and walk to a neighbouring house where he raised the alarm and called an ambulance.

He is being treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The suspects fled the scene with a small sum of money.

It is understood this is the second time the farmhouse was targeted by thieves in the past six weeks.

Speaking at Birr Garda Station, Supt Martin Cashen said: "We are appealing to farmers, residents and landowners in the Shinrone area to keep a look out for clothing possibly discarded in fields or hedges.

"If anything is located please do not touch it and contact Birr Garda Station immediately on 057-9169710."

He also appealed for anyone who saw suspicious persons or vehicles in the Drumakeenan and Glassderrybeg areas on the N62 Birr to Roscrea Road, either last night or in the days up to the incident to contact gardaí.

Gardaí can be contact at Birr Garda Station or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.