Hostages held in post office raid
Gardai investigating alleged abduction of two people followed by a raid on a post office in Oldcastle.
Gardaí are searching tonight for 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 in Co Meath.
The gang had specific information about the delivery of cash to the branch they were targeting.
While the gang escaped with around €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 only been delivered to the post office in the 48 hour period before the robbery and they believe the gang knew the delivery had been made. They also had specific information on who was living at the house they attacked and appear to have had the victims under surveillance for a period.
The female post mistress and her husband who were held hostage were said to be very shaken after their ordeal, which began late on Thursday night.
The post mistress of the Oldcastle post office was watching TV at her home in Virginia, Co Cavan, alone last night until her husband returned at around 10pm.
As he was opening the front door of the house, two men grabbed him from behind, punched him across the face several times and bundled him into the house. The men then tied up the couple.
The two raiders held the couple hostage in the house overnight, with their hands and feet tied up throughout. At around 7.30am this morning 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 post mistress 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 near Kentstown in Co Meath, around 50km from the post office. She left the money at that location.
Back in the post office, when staff began to arrive for work they noticed the safe had been opened an emptied. They contacted senior management in An Post, who rang gardai, with the alarm raised at around 9.30am.
However, by that time the money had already been left for the gang and the post mistress’s husband was released near Swords in north Dublin at around 10am.
Gardai have appealed for anyone with information or saw anything around the couple’s house or the post office to contact them. The investigation is being conduct from Kells and Bailieboro garda stations.