DIM-WITTED raiders were cursing their luck yesterday as the cash box they had stolen during a bank robbery blew up, spraying the men with red dye.
The shocked raiders dropped a large proportion of their loot and the remainder is thought to have been permanently stained with the ink.
The two bank robbers entered the Ulster Bank branch on Dame Street in Dublin's city centre just after 10am yesterday brandishing a metal bar.
The pair jumped the cash counter in a smash and grab theft and escaped with a cash box and fled on foot.
As one of the men tried to prise the box open, the red security dye exploded.
The stained notes were dumped and the raiders made off with the salvageable notes, believed to be €3,000, around half of their haul.
The men jumped into a red Mazda hatchback car, which they had parked nearby. Gardai recovered the car late yesterday afternoon after it had been abandoned in Fitzgibbon Street.
The car had been reported stolen last Friday from Dublin City Centre.
Officers last night appealed to witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have seen the men exit the car in the Fitzgibbon Street area to contact them at Pearse Street Garda Station on (01) 6669000, or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666111.
They are also interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen two individuals with clothes stained with red dye.
The botched robbery is the second in just over a month where hapless raiders were forced to abandon a cash box, following the theft of a post office on December 17.
The thieves escaped from the post office in the Bayside Shopping Centre after they threatened staff with a gun.