GoFundMe page launched to replace Meigh woman’s stolen savings

February 12, 2019

A south Armagh community has rallied to support the victim of heartless thieves who snatched her life savings in an opportunist robbery two weeks ago. 

Meigh woman, Mary McDonald became the target of the cruel theft on Friday 25th January, after being followed in her car from an ATM in Newry where she had just withdrawn £4,200 in savings.  The doting mum and grandmother had withdrawn the cash to pay builders who are renovating her garage to allow her daughter and young family to move in.   

The unsuspecting woman stopped at Mulkerns Eurospar in Cloughoge on her way home- with her assailants parking their black old style Astra alongside her.  The men lay in wait and when Mary returned to her car to drive off, they seized their chance, snatching her handbag containing all her savings and a number of sentimental items. The heartbroken grandmother subsequently shared CCTV footage of the theft, warning people to be more vigilant.  The footage shows the distressed victim chasing after the speeding car in vain.

In the wake of the robbery, Mary’s best friend, Arlene Johnston, has launched a GoFundMe campaign appealing for people to donate to replace the stolen cash for the woman she describes as “the kindest, most loving, good natured lady you could ever have the chance of meeting.”

Sharing the details of the callous incident which robbed her friend of her “hard earned money”, Arlene’s GoFundMe page also pays tribute to Mary’s strength – having raised her five children single handedly following the death of her husband in a tragic accident when her youngest child was just 6 months old. 

“Just when things were starting to become easier for her she decided to renovate her garage and let her young daughter move into the family home with her husband and 2 children, so construction began,” she revealed, adding that her friend “spent every hour working and saving hard in order to have this renovation happen,” and had collapsed in shock shortly after the incident. 

The men who carried out the theft were also spotted in the vicinity of Mary’s home the night after the robbery, but were deterred by the presence of a family member and fled the scene.

“Everyone is on high alert in case they decide to come back again,” adds Arlene on the appeal page.

“This has been a brutal attack on a poor woman….Mary re-lives this horror over and over,  I only hope that people will donate and help this absolute lady out.”

Public generosity has seen the GoFundMe fundraiser reach more than half of its £4,200 target in just six days and Arlene is appealing to people to dig deep to help the much-loved Meigh woman “get back on her feet again.”

If you would like to donate to the fund, visit