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Shatter promises crackdown after spate of armed robberies

THE Government has promised a major crackdown on crime after a spate of armed robberies. Amid fears that the capital's crime problem is spiralling out of control, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has called a meeting with Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.



Of major concern is the fact that there were seven armed raids over the space of less than 100 hours between Thursday evening and Sunday morning.

Gardai have now recovered a cash box, clothes covered in dye and a small sum of stained cash following a €40,000 cash-in-transit robbery on the weekend.

The discovery was made after detectives searched a number of properties in the Bluebell, Drimnagh and Crumlin areas of Dublin yesterday.



Gang

No arrests have yet been made but sources say officers have identified the gang involved in the armed robbery in Walkinstown.

The sum of money recovered is described as "very small, definitely less than €5,000."

That incident happened at 4.15pm on Saturday at a service station on the Long Mile Road and the box was stolen after a security guard was approached by a man in a ski mask with a shotgun.

The raiders are believed to have made their initial escape in a blue Audi, which was later found on fire close to the Walkinstown roundabout in Crumlin.

Gardai believe they then switched to another vehicle to make their escape.

Detectives were at first focusing their search on Bluebell in west Dublin after analysing a signal from a transmitter believed to be inside the stolen cash box.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter is expected to outline a plan to tackle the growth in robberies after he meets with top gardai later this week.

The latest shocking armed robbery happened at 3am yesterday at the Cedar Lounge pub in Raheny, north Dublin.

Three masked men, armed with Stanley knives and hammers, entered a pub on St Assam's Avenue in Raheny, while staff were locking up the premises.

The thieves threatened the three staff members and demanded cash from the safe.

A sum of around €10,000 was taken by the gang who made their getaway in a car owned by one of the staff members targeted in the raid.

Niall Collins, Fianna Fail's Justice spokesman, renewed the party's calls for the establishment of a Task Force dedicated to addressing violent crime in the Greater Dublin area.

kfoy@herald.ie