herald

Sunday 9 December 2018

Dublin gang prime suspects in PO raid that led to shooting

A Dublin-based crime gang are suspected to have carried out a €200 raid in which a postmistress and her son were shot and injured.

Two men arrested in a garda swoop remained in custody today as detectives continued to quiz them about the post office shooting and a raid on a hotel and nightclub in Co Wexford.

The men, both aged in their 20s and from Crumlin, were arrested after garda teams closed in on a mobile home in Courttown, Co Wexford, last night.



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The mobile home remained sealed off today for forensic examination.

One of the men was wearing a bullet proof vest when detained.

Shooting victims Christine Dempsey (66), the post mistress of Oulart post office in Co. Wexford, and her son John (31), both underwent surgery at Wexford General Hospital and were in a comfortable condition. They were both struck by pellets from a single shotgun blast fired during the raid. Mrs Dempsey's sister Marie Duggan told the Herald today that her sister was "okay" following the terrifying raid and that her nephew John was also alright.

Three masked men armed with a shotgun, burst into the post office at 9.35am yesterday where the postmistress was serving an elderly customer.

They shouted at the post mistress and demanded money from the safe and petty cash. The gang became agitated when they believed that Mrs Dempsey activated a panic button.

A gang member discharged shotgun blasts which hit a door and the floor. Pellets from the blast hit Mrs Dempsey in the left arm. Her son was hit by pellets in the left thigh.

The gang grabbed the contents of the till -- believed to be around €200 -- and fled. They did not managed to open the safe. A fourth gang member is believed to have been waiting in the vicinity in a getaway car.

Cash had been handed out to customers collecting children's allowance payments. The injured pair were taken to Wexford General Hospital, but their injuries were not serious.

Around five hours earlier, four gunmen had forced their way into Sean Og's hotel and nightclub in Kilmuckridge, five miles from Oulart.

They attacked night porter David Ellis and tied him up after a struggle.

They ordered him to tell them where the safe was. But their bungling efforts to remove the safe led to them getting stuck in a lift and they were forced to abandon the safe and flee. They grabbed a couple of hundred euro in petty cash on the way out and made their getaway in a car, which was later found burned out in Gorey.

A second car was also found burned out.

An extensive garda operation swung into operation after the post office raid, including the calling in of armed mobile garda units and a garda helicopter as road blocks were set up on roads leading back to Dublin.

Waterford-based Detective Superintendent Dominic Hayes and Inspector Pat Cody in Enniscorthy are leading the search for the remaining suspects.

Oulart priest Fr John Jordan said: "What has happened at the post office has been a terrible ordeal for everyone there and has shocked everyone in the area."

Gardai are also seeking to establish whether a shotgun and ammunition stolen from a house in Bray, Co Wicklow, on Monday night were used in the shooting at the post office.

hnews@herald.ie

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