Youth due in court over Limerick kidnapping

 

A YOUTH is due in court today in connection with an incident in which a man was taken from his Limerick home at gunpoint.

Steven Cusack (19) was abducted from his home at Caisleán na hAbhann, Castletroy, Limerick, just after 11pm on Sunday.

Three men, one with a handgun, bundled the man – whose family run Garryowen post office in Limerick city – into his own pick-up truck with a hood over his head.

A friend of the 19-year-old who was in the house at the time was left tied up. He only managed to free himself and contact gardaí after his friend was found.

The gang drove with Mr Cusack for about an hour and told him he would have to contact relatives about getting money from their post office.

They took him to a derelict house in Donoughmore, Co Limerick, about 8km from the city and close to where his parents live.

It was there that Mr Cusack managed to escape and, shortly before 12.30am on Monday, he was picked up by gardaí who were responding to a call about suspect activity in the area.

“A concerned member of the public contacted the gardaí about suspicious activity in the Donoughmore area and it was when gardaí were responding to this call that they came across the injured party,” Garda Supt Frank O’Brien said.

Mr Cusack was found barefoot and in a state of shock but he managed to tell gardaí about his ordeal.

“I want to acknowledge the public’s assistance,” Garda Supt Frank O’Brien added. “Sometimes we have to overcome people’s unwillingness to ring us but we always invite people to contact us if they see anything out of the ordinary.

“In this example, you have a situation where gardaí responding to a routine call were able to render assistance to a victim.

“Fortune smiled on us because events then synced together, which led to an early development in the investigation.”

An immediate search of the Donoughmore area resulted in the apprehension of the 15-year-old boy. He was brought to Henry Street Garda station in Limerick for questioning and was detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The teenager is due to appear before Limerick District Court today where he is expected to be charged with false imprisonment.

Gardaí are still searching for two older men who were involved in the abduction. Sources indicated they were satisfied with how inquiries were progressing.

Detectives are examining CCTV footage of the vehicle used by the gang, which was discovered abandoned on the Tipperary side of Limerick on Monday.

Locals in the Garryowen area were shocked yesterday to learn about the abduction of Mr Cusack, whose family were described as “very popular and well liked”.

It is business as usual at the family’s busy post office, where officials from An Post headquarters in Dublin have carried out an assessment of the premises.

Members of the Cusack family did not wish to speak about the ordeal.