Post office raiders had information on cash delivery
Armed raiders who tied up a couple in their 60s and held them hostage overnight as part of a plan to rob a post office had specific information about the delivery of cash to the branch they were targeting.
While the gang escaped with about €22,000 from the post office in Oldcastle, Co Meath, a further €140,000 was contained in another safe on the premises but was out of their reach because a time lock had been fitted.
Garda sources said the money had been delivered to the post office in the 48-hour period before the robbery and they believed the gang knew the delivery had been made. The gang also had specific information on who was living in the house they attacked and appear to have had the victims under surveillance for a period.
The female postmistress and her husband who were held hostage were said to be very shaken after their ordeal, which began late on Thursday night.
The postmistress of the Oldcastle post office was watching television at her home in Virginia, Co Cavan, alone on Thursday until her husband returned at about 10pm.
As he opened the front door of the house two men grabbed him from behind, punched him in the face several times and bundled him into the house. The men tied up the couple. A relative said later that he had been knocked unconscious.
The two raiders held the couple hostage in the house overnight, with their hands and feet tied throughout. At about 7.30am yesterday the woman was told by the gang to drive to her place of work and take money from the safe for the gang.
She was given a mobile phone by the gang and told she would be contacted later and given directions about where to drop off the money.
As she left the house her husband was driven away by the two raiders and she was told he would be shot unless she did exactly as instructed.
The postmistress went to her place of work and took money from the only safe she could access. She was then contacted on the mobile phone and told to drive to a stretch of road at Dean Hill near Kentstown, Navan, Co Meath, about 50km from the post office. She left the money at that location.
When other staff began to arrive for work in the post office they noticed the safe had been emptied. They contacted senior An Post management, who rang the Garda. The alarm was raised at about 9.30am.
By that time the money had already been left for the gang. The postmistress’s husband was released near Swords in north Co Dublin at about 10am.
The couple’s adult son, a car mechanic, lives with his parents. He had gone away for the night and gardaí said the raiders asked about him repeatedly, apparently fearful he would turn up and confront them.