Man held over €7.6m robbery

 

A man has been arrested in connection with last year's multi-million euro tiger robbery in Dublin.

Gardaí confirmed this morning that a 25 year-old man was arrested yesterday "on the outskirts" of Dublin city.

He is being questioned about last February's robbery on the Bank of Ireland's branch in College Green in which as much as €7.6 million was stolen. Almost two million euro was recovered in the days after the robbery and some €5.8 million remains at large.

The man is being held at Naas Garda station under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act. Under the legislation the man can be held for 72 hours before he must either be released or charged.

Two men were remanded in custody last March in connection with the robbery and their case remains before the courts.

The robbery was described by Supt John Gilligan of the Garda Press Office as “comparable to any large-scale robbery that has ever taken place in this country”. The country's financial institutions carried out a root-and-branch review of their security procedures after the robbery.

The money was withdrawn by bank employee Shane Travers early on Friday, February 27th after his partner, Stephanie Smith, her mother, Joan Smith, and Joan’s five-year-old grandson were taken hostage at their house in Badgers Hill, Kilteel, Co Kildare.

The incident began when an armed gang of six men forced their way into the house when the two women and the child arrived home between 10pm and 10.30pm on the Thursday night. Mr Travers was watching television in the house when the gang arrived.

The men were all wearing balaclavas, black clothing, gloves and spoke with Dublin accents. One of the men is described as being particularly well-built and had a physique likened by gardaí to that of a body-builder.

At least three of the men were armed with handguns and gardaí believe a shotgun may also have been used in the attack.

One of the hostages, Stephanie Smith, was injured after she was struck in the head with a vase by a gang member.

The four were held hostage overnight until 5.30am when the gang ordered the two women and the child into the back of a blue Peugeot Partner van. Gardaí say this van was fitted with false registration plates.

They were tied up and driven in the back of the van to The Rath near the Marriott Hotel in Ashbourne, Co Meath. At 6.30am Mr Travers drove his red Toyota Celica to the Bank of Ireland branch in College Green. He drove through Inchicore, along the quays and parked in his designated parking space at 6.58am.

Within 15 minutes he left the bank with what gardaí described as four laundry bags and placed them in the car.

He then drove to Clontarf where at 7.30am he met a man wearing a baseball cap at the Dart station. This man then took possession of the Toyota Celica at which point Mr Travers walked across the road to Clontarf Garda station and reported the crime.

The car was later found burnt-out near the Tolka House pub in Glasnevin.

The two women and the child managed to free themselves from the blue van and they walked into Ashbourne where they contacted gardaí at the local station shortly before 8.30am.

Gardaí said the family was traumatised as a result of the incident and Ms Smith had to receive medical attention for her head injury.