herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

I feared for my life at hands of tiger gangsters

TERROR: Woman tells of ordeal

A BUSINESSWOMAN has told how she thought she was going to die when she was tiger- kidnapped by an armed gang.

Traumatised Edel Farrell told the Herald today: "They threatened to leave me in a pool of blood and told me they would get a shotgun

"I thought I was going to die."

Ms Farrell (34) was forced to drive the gang to the filling station she manages after they broke into her home in Navan, Co Meath, at 3am last Sunday week.

Gardai believe that the botched Tiger raid is linked to a gang who have carried out a spate of tiger kidnappings across Leinster. The five men involved were armed with iron bars and hurleys.

Gardai believe that the gang followed Ms Farrell home and they broke into and ransacked the property before beating her across the face with a hurley.

They then took Ms Farrell hostage and forced her to drive to a local service station that she manages -- all the time shouting and threatening her. Some gang members went with her while others followed in a 08-reg white Volkswagen Golf GTi.

But when they got to The Brink Service Station in Beauparc, Navan, the gang panicked when they realised they had forgotten to bring the keys.

The gang then attempted to prise open the electric shutters with an iron bar and one of the robbers suffered an electric shock while doing this.



CHASE

Things got even worse for the mob when they were noticed by people coming home from last weekend's Kings of Leon concert at nearby Slane Castle and gardai were notified.

A high-speed chase ensued which gardai had to abandon because of the high volumes of concert-generated traffic on the roads in Co Meath.

Garda investigations have established that the white Golf used by the gang had been stolen in Cork and fitted with false number plates in Monasterevin, Co Kildare -- close to where the gang is suspected to have a strong base. The car was discovered burned out in Kilkenny on Monday.

Ms Farrell added: "You see this kind of thing on telly -- you never expect it to happen to you. It was a very frightening experience.

"I was in bed when the gang broke in. I live with my brother and I thought it was him coming home from the concert in Slane -- it was a terrible shock to be confronted by those men."

Sources say that gardai are convinced the gang is "strongly connected" to a ruthless Traveller gang who are based in Co Kildare and who are the chief suspects in three tiger kidnap incidents in Co Kildare and one in Co Laois since the start of April.

The gang is also responsible for two other robberies in Co Laois which were very similar to last weekend's attempted robbery.

Last weekend's gang consisted of five men who are aged in their 20s who gardai believe are led by a criminal who is very well known to gardai and who lives in the Kildare area.

hnews@herald.ie

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