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Saturday 7 December 2019

Gardai continue to quiz suspect in foiled ATM robbery

The scene of the foiled raid on the ATM in Virginia
The scene of the foiled raid on the ATM in Virginia

A 28-year-old man was still being questioned last night under anti-gang legislation after his arrest over a foiled ATM robbery.

He remained in custody but was being treated in hospital yesterday following his dramatic arrest last week alongside his close relative. This man, a 25-year-old, was released without charge yesterday evening.

A 61-year-old uncle of the detained men was released without charge from Kells Garda Station early on Friday.

He was arrested at Moynalty, Co Meath, at the same time that armed officers intercepted three men in Virginia, Co Cavan, on Wednesday morning.

More than €300,000 was seized when gardai searched the location in Co Meath.

This cash is believed to have been proceeds of other ATM robberies earlier this year.

The uncle and his two nephews are understood to all live in the same house on the Armagh/Monaghan border.

They are all suspected of being key members of a gang which has close links to the killers of hero Garda Adrian Donohoe.

A fourth suspect managed to escape and is understood to be in hiding in a border location.

Spooked

Follow-up searches on Thursday failed to show up anything of significance.

Gardai believe the gang got "spooked" ahead of the botched raid after noticing garda activity in the rural town.

Before being busted last week, the gang is suspected of up to half a dozen cross-border ATM raids this year in a spree investigated by specialist gardai and PSNI officers.

Gardai in local and national units were involved in the operation, which had been ongoing for a number of weeks.

However, they had been conducting covert surveillance on the gang since earlier this year.

The planned intervention happened just as the digger was being prepared to drag the ATM from the wall of the building.

Wreckage from a dark-coloured 4x4-type vehicle was strewn across the footpath on the opposite side of the road to the ATM.

The men in custody are believed to be linked to a crime gang that are chief suspects for the robbery of €480,000 taken in the raids in Kells which happened in the early hours of last Good Friday.

Two ATMs were ripped from separate banks before the raiders fled in separate vehicles.

The gang are also suspected of robberies in Castleblayney, Ballybay and Kingscourt.

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