herald

Sunday 26 October 2014

Three held after terror at shop where robbers were shot dead by ERU

GARDAI were today questioning three men suspected of being behind a terrifying armed raid at a North Dublin premises on Saturday night.

Officers swooped on the individuals, one of whom was armed with a gun, just minutes after they robbed a Costcutter shop in Lusk.

The premises was at the centre of a botched robbery eight years ago during which two criminals were shot dead.

The well-known crime figures, Colm Griffin (33) and Eric Hopkins (24), were killed by members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in May 2005 as they attempted to raid the building.

Griffin, of Canon Lillis Avenue, was hit in the body and the head and Hopkins, of Lower Rutland Street, was shot in the heart. Griffin was carrying a semi-automatic handgun. Hopkins was was unarmed.

The 2005 raid was on a post office in the same building as the Costcutter shop that was targeted on Saturday night.

In the latest incident, three masked men entered the shop shortly at around 10.05pm and threatened staff members.

One of the raiders is understood to have pointed a firearm at the back of the heads of terrified staff members as his associates raided the shop.

The individuals fled the scene with thousands of euro, but were intercepted by gardai within minutes.

The officers were on patrol in the North Dublin area and responded when the emergency call was made.

In a bid to escape arrest, the three men locked themselves inside their getaway vehicle but the detectives prevented them from fleeing the scene.

Gardai managed to break the windows of the vehicle before arresting the men.

A gardai spokeswoman said: "Two firearms were recovered, along with all of the property taken. A motor car was also seized at the scene.

"The men, who are aged mid 20s to late 40s, are currently detained at Swords, Raheny and Clontarf Garda Station."

noconnor@herald.ie

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