herald

Monday 18 June 2018

Upmarket pub raiders strike again as €3,000 taken in armed robbery

The Willows was targeted by armed raiders in May
The Willows was targeted by armed raiders in May

A criminal gang suspected of carrying out armed robberies of at least five upmarket pubs in South Dublin has struck again.

The latest raid happened at the Brickyard Gastropub in Dundrum at 1.30am on Monday last week, just hours before the country was battered by Storm Ophelia.

Around €3,000 was stolen when two armed men stormed the pub and tied up a member of staff with cable ties.

The thugs were armed with a handgun and a hammer and demanded cash from the till before fleeing.

No arrests have yet been made in the case, which is being investigated by Dundrum gardai.

Sources said last night that gardai were investigating whether the same gang was responsible for an armed robbery at a Rathfarnham pub a number of weeks ago.

The crime spree is being linked to the same brazen group that robbed three South Dublin pubs in the space of just 13 days in May.

At 1am on May 15, around €8,000 was stolen from The Willows pub in Dundrum.

A 47-year-old barman was threatened at gunpoint and tied up by the masked raiders, who made off with the significant cash haul.

The raid at The Willows pub occurred only three nights after a botched robbery at Ashton's pub at Clonskeagh Road, Clonskeagh.

In that case, the frustrated raiders escaped with two bottles of vodka and two mobile phones owned by staff members after being unable to access cash.

The methods used in these two raids bear striking similarities to an armed robbery at Bar 51 on Haddington Road, Ballsbridge, at 1am on May 3.

The Bar 51 raid led to the criminals escaping with €2,500.

The staff members tied up on that occasion were aged 41 and 39 and both men were from Dublin.

The latest raid is being investigated by gardai at Dundrum, but they are expected to work with their colleagues at Donnybrook Garda Station, who have been probing two of the other armed incidents.

CCTV is expected to play a major part in the detailed probe and the criminals have not yet been identified.

Safety

Speaking to the Herald in the aftermath of the raid on The Willows, pub owner Colm McWeeney said the money taken by the intruders during the incident was not an issue, and all he was worried about was his employee's safety.

"The first thing I did was give him a hug and see if he was all right," he said.

"The money was not my concern.

"I know my barman is very shaken up over it, so he's taking a bit of a break, just to let him get his head around things.

"Well, he was held up with a gun and a knife, so he's shaken up. I'm just glad that he was alright."

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