THREE suspects who were arrested in relation to an armed robbery in a shop are well known to gardai, it has emerged.
One suspect, a 25-year-old man from Artane, previously escaped a jail sentence for possession of a weapon in north Dublin while another older suspect, from the north inner city, served a jail sentence for an armed robbery.
A manhunt is under way for a fourth raider who was not arrested in what sources say was "not a carefully planned robbery."
This CCTV image shows the moment the masked and armed raiders burst into the Costcutter shop in Lusk, north Co Dublin.
Officers swooped on three north Dublin men, one of whom was armed with a gun, minutes after they robbed the shop.
The premises was at the centre of a botched robbery eight years ago during which two criminals were shot dead.
Speaking yesterday, shop owner John Wilson paid tribute to the brave staff and gardai who dealt with the incident.
"It is a credit to them. They dealt with it so calmly and only for that it could have been much worse," Mr Wilson said.
He also said he wanted to offer his gratitude to gardai who had done a "fantastic job".
Just before 10pm on Saturday, four men wearing balaclavas burst into the shop and forced staff into a storage area and office at the back of the premises. They were held at gunpoint by one man while the others stole almost €10,000.
The armed man demanded that a staff member locate bin liners to put the money into.
A number of customers were also threatened and held against their will.
The attack lasted for less than 10 minutes and a staff member managed to activate the shop's panic button.
Three men, aged in their mid-20s to late-40s, were apprehended by detectives from Balbriggan garda station when they intercepted a car nearby.
Two firearms were recovered, along with all the money.