'Tiger kidnappers were going to shoot me and my family'
A KIDNAPPED shop owner has told of his ordeal after he and members of his family were held at gunpoint during a gang robbery.
Rodney Dolan, the owner of Centra in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, was taken hostage with his brother and brother's fiancee on Sunday night.
Speaking yesterday on RTE Radio 1, Mr Dolan said he locked all his doors and set the alarm before going to bed.
Then at around 2am the alarm went off and Mr Dolan heard strange voices in the house.
"I looked out my bedroom door and I saw a man on the landing with a torch and a handgun and he had a black ski mask on," he said. "I just came out with my hands up and said, 'What do you want?'"
Ordered downstairs at gunpoint, Mr Dolan, his brother and his brother's fiancee were all put on their knees and their hands were tightly tied behind their backs with white cables.
Mr Dolan's father, who was sleeping upstairs, was not disturbed by the intruders.
The shop owner was then asked about the whereabouts of his safe and cash, to which he replied: "I don't have any in the house.
"You can beat me up, you can shoot me, but the answer will still be the same: I don't have cash or a safe in the house."
After trashing his bedroom, the gunmen took the keys to Mr Dolan's jeep and put the three hostages into the back.
The raiders then asked Mr Dolan about the keys to his Centra shop and repeatedly told the three captives not to look at them.
"At that stage I knew what they were looking for, they were looking for me and they were looking to rob the shop," he said.
Knowing that they had driven a further distance than the shop, Mr Dolan told RTE News at One that the jeep parked on a slope.
At gunpoint, he was asked for the code to his shop, the keys to the ATM and the code to his safe. "They said, 'We're going now and we're leaving this man here, another man with a gun, and if any of the information you've given us is incorrect he's going to shoot you'," said Mr Dolan.
After about 20 minutes the raiders returned, asked the same questions again and drove off once more.
"My brother's fiancee opened the back door and we were in an unused quarry outside Ballyjamesduff," said Mr Dolan.
Left in their underwear, the three wriggled out of the jeep and ran to a nearby house to raise the alarm.
Mr Dolan said the raiders, dressed in dark clothes and believed to have Dublin accents, got away with a "substantial sum". Gardai investigating the kidnapping and robbery are appealing for information, particularly from anyone who saw men driving a bright colour Ford Mondeo car.