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'I got fright of my life as helicopter flew up and police pounced'

An eyewitness to the foiled raid on the cash-in-transit van in Knocklyon has said he was shocked when a young woman who stopped him on a nearby bridge was pounced on seconds later by armed gardai.

The local man was walking home from Superquinn in Knocklyon on Thursday at around 4pm, having already seen three men arrested at gunpoint as they were believed to be about to raid the cash van.



POLITE

"I was just walking home when I spotted a young woman coming towards me on the pedestrian bridge. She politely stopped me and asked if I knew what was going on over at Superquinn," he said.

"She said her mother was shopping over there and she was worried about her. I was actually trying to calm her fears and I said the place was full of armed gardai but it all seemed to be contained now," he added. "She was in her late 20s and seemed like a fairly genuine sort of person. She was neat and clean, with black tights and shoes, a casual cream or light grey cardigan with a hood. She had black hair and her make-up was well done.

"But she got a bit panicked and I saw her hurry back over the bridge and by the time I had crossed it she was getting into a silver car on her own and driving away.

"Just at that instant, the garda helicopter came up over me from behind and turned slightly to the right, and then the unmarked garda car came tearing around the bend and blocked her. I got the fright of my life when a plain-clothes garda jumped out and ran to the driver's door pointing his handgun out in front of him in both his hands. Within seconds he pulled her from the car and pushed her down onto the grass verge before handcuffing her.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard she was arrested as part of a crime gang."

cfeehan@herald.ie