Armed men kidnap shopkeeper
A shopkeeper was free last night after being held hostage by an armed gang for almost four hours.
He was abducted at teatime from his shop, Glin Stores, at the corner of Glin Road and Glin Avenue in Coolock on the northside of Dublin.
Gardai said they were investigating indications that the incident could have been linked to the murder of drug-trafficking Traveller John Paul Joyce (30), whose body was found in a ditch at Dunbro Lane, off the main road at the back of Dublin Airport on Saturday afternoon.
He was bundled into a vehicle on Thursday night, shortly after leaving a house at Ferrycarrig Road in Coolock, shot and dumped in the ditch.
Last night, four masked men, armed with a handgun, ran into Glin Stores and threatened the shopkeeper, who was named locally as Sean Cummins.
They apparently sought to speak to another person but then grabbed Mr Cummins at gunpoint and brought him outside where he was bundled into a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Gardai said the gang had demanded money in exchange for the safe return of Mr Cummins.
Detectives were working on the theory that the gang believed that a man known to Mr Cummins had been associated with Joyce or some members of his gang and might have been able to gain access to money quickly.
Gardai quickly set up checkpoints around the area and began a massive manhunt in the north and west of the capital for the missing man.
Investigators feared for the safety of Mr Cummins because of the gang's claims that they were looking for some of the Joyce money.
But shortly after 8.30pm, Mr Cummins is believed to have broken free from his captors in Clondalkin in west Dublin.
Mr Cummins ran into a house in the Woodford Estate and sought refuge there.
Gardai said he was unharmed but badly shaken by the incident.
The gang fled the area and a search for the four gunmen was continuing late last night.
Officers said they did not believe any money had been paid to the gunmen.