Tuesday 20 March 2018

Armed raiders tie up and gag wife and child of star

The Voice finalist Mark Guildea's family were tied up during a terrifying armed robbery at their home
The Voice finalist Mark Guildea's family were tied up during a terrifying armed robbery at their home

Ken Foy, Conor Feehan and Sam Griffin

THE infant child and wife of a reality TV star were both gagged, tied up and threatened in a terrifying armed burglary at their home.

Four men, armed with a firearm, knife and axe, ransacked the home of 'Voice of Ireland' finalist Mark Guildea after gaining access to his house in Tara, Co Meath, shortly before midnight.

Gardai have arrested one man in connection with the aggravated burglary.

Mr Guildea was away when the raiders gained access to the house and physically attacked Allison Guildea and the couple's three-year-old child before gagging and binding them.

The raiders then ransacked the house, seizing a safe containing legally held firearms as well as some electronic devices and a small amount of cash.

A source also revealed last night that the raiders stole Ms Guildea's ATM card and forced her to reveal her pin before making off in her Toyota Yaris and another BMW, which the gang had stolen in a hijacking in Dublin on Tuesday night.

However, the thieves crashed the Toyota Yaris on the N2 and then abandoned it on the M50 near the Finglas junction.

The traumatised young mother and daughter were yesterday recovering after the ordeal. Mr Guildea declined to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent last night.

Guildea, originally from Balbriggan in Dublin, made it to the live finals of last year's 'Voice Of Ireland', guided by Sharon Corr in the high-profile show.

Neighbours said the couple and their daughter had moved into the rented house last year.

"They are really nice people, and Mark does a bit of singing with his band. It's shocking to think that anyone could do something like this to an innocent woman and her terrified young child," said one neighbour.

In the hours after the aggravated burglary, gardai were called to an apartment in Rathmines where they found one of the four men attempting to break open the weapons safe stolen earlier.

Also found was €800 taken from Mrs Guildea's bank account.

Officers were understood to have been alerted to the situation after they received a report that noise was being made by the 22-year-old suspect who was attempting to open the safe.

It emerged that the safe contained toy airsoft weapons rather than the shotguns that the gang had intended to steal. The suspect was arrested, and brought to Terenure Garda Station in Dublin where he was still being questioned last night.

Irish Independent

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