herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Staff tied up and assaulted during violent €50k raid on busy hotel

The Pillo Hotel at Ashbourne
The Pillo Hotel at Ashbourne

A violent raid on a popular hotel saw staff tied up and assaulted by thugs who then stole more than €50,000.

The incident happened at the Pillo Hotel on the outskirts of Ashbourne, Co Meath, at 5pm on Monday, when two raiders entered through the back of the building.

It is understood that the criminals used cable ties to tie up two staff members - a man and a woman - in a back area of the hotel before savagely attacking a third staff member and then tying him up as well.

The staff member who was assaulted later required hospital treatment for his injuries.

The raiders - who both had their faces covered during the course of the crime - escaped the scene with the massive cash haul.

Gardai would not confirm how much cash was stolen in the raid, but it's understood to be more than €50,000.

The men were described as being of average height and build and spoke with Dublin accents.

There have been no arrests so far in the investigation, which is being led by Ashbourne gardai.

Surveillance

It is understood that detectives are investigating whether the raiders had carried out surveillance on the property.

Darrell Penney, general manager of the four-star, 148-bedroom hotel, told the Herald that the staff concerned had been through an ordeal.

"The staff involved received medical attention and they are receiving the help that they need to get them through this," said Mr Penney.

"We are working with the gardai at present and, of course, are fully co-operating with their investigation.

"All the staff of the hotel are quite upset by what has happened," he said.

"We're a busy hotel and everyone is working to get back to normal.

"We have a very good team here and they are very resilient," he said.

"The staff deserve an awful lot of credit."

The shocking raid at the Pillo Hotel is just the latest to be carried out by Dublin criminals using the motorway network to carry out targeted robberies.

Gardai recently set up Operation Thor to combat this type of crime. The operation aims to target organised crime gangs and repeat offenders across the country and has received extra funding.

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