CHILDREN's rights campaigner Christina Noble has spoken of her horror at being held at knifepoint during a burglary in her own home.
Ms Noble, the founder and driving force behind the Christina Noble Foundation, spoke of her recent terrifying ordeal on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk.
Describing the incident, Ms Noble said: "I am in the home I value and love - the home I bought for my family to bring them back together again - and I feel it's so soiled now.
"I was asleep downstairs because I saved an orphan cat who was in a terrible state, he had been beaten and has a bad bladder, so I slept on the settee so I could let him in and out when he wanted to.
"It was around 3.48am and there was something tipping my arm. I turned around, and he took the knife he had in his hand and put over my throat and started screaming, 'Give me the money, give me the money.'
Ms Noble said the man was around 5'6'', wearing black trousers, gloves and a green khaki parka with fur around the hood, and had a Dublin accent with 'a drawl.'
"He was constantly lunging at me with the knife, shouting 'Give me the f-ing money, I'm going to kill you - do you understand that?'" she said.
Ms Noble said she went very calm, and told him she didn't have any money, before reaching for her panic button when he wasn't looking.
"I took it and pressed the button and the alarm went off. With that, he yelled something vicious at me then took my keys and my phone, and took my car.
"He was here 12 minutes, but that could be 12 hours when someone has a knife on you."
The 73-year-old Dublin native said that while the gardaí have issued an alert across Ireland for her stolen car, she is "so angry" that this man came into her home.
"I'm very angry that he desecrated my home. I want people to know that there's a man going around do this. People should know, to be more vigilant for themselves."
Ms Noble has previously spoken openly about her time in a children's orphanage in Dublin before escaping to live rough in the city, being the victim of a gang rape and giving birth to a baby son who was then taken away from her.
She has also spoken of domestic abuse she suffered while raising three children in Britain before moving back to Ireland.
She then visited children in Vietnam suffering the fallout of the Vietnam war - in turn setting up her foundation, which included providing emergency health clinics, schools, shelters for homeless boys, childcare centres, soccer teams and a vocational hairdressing school and salon.
Ms Noble was awarded an OBE in 2003.