Her daughter says Ann Curtis also got some help from her neighbors in Clegg, County Meath, who gathered in front of the gate before police officers arrived to make sure the men did not escape, the Irish Independent reported.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon. Clegg said her grandchildren reported seeing a strange car in the yard. She told them to shut themselves in the house and then went out and found three men loading tools into their vehicle.
"I parked a bit away and asked them what they were doing," she said. "When they started giving me cheek, I reversed really fast, got out of the car and managed to get the iron entrance gate closed and padlocked. My hands were shaking."
Her daughter, Marie, said she got there soon after and parked her own utility vehicle in front of the gate. Then about a dozen neighbors arrived.
"Everyone here is hailing mum as a hero. They think she's brilliant," Marie Curtis said. "Everything happened so fast and adrenaline was so high that we didn't think of the dangers."
Police said three men were arrested on suspicion of theft.
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet
Toddler uninjured after being knocked over by Obama family dog