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Councillor ties up robbery suspects with poster cables

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A POLITICIAN is being hailed a hero after using election poster cables to tie up a burglary suspect.

Fine Gael councillor Mickey Doherty and several friends surrounded would-be thieves who 'cased' a neighbour's house.

The Donegal politician managed to grab one suspect while the others called gardai.

In a follow-up search in the Quigley's Point area a second suspect was arrested close to house in question.

"I was going to a meeting at my office when I got a call to say a van was parked outside a local house.

"It is owned by Americans who use it as a holiday home and it was empty," said the 58-year-old.

"I pulled up my car behind the van to block it in and then I heard some commotion in the bushes nearby.

"I was able to grab one man and remembered I had plastic cable ties in the boot of my car which I had left over from putting up posters at the last election.

"I was able to handcuff him using those and wait for the gardai to arrive."

Mr Doherty insisted the real hero of the episode was the local woman who spotted the suspects in the first place.

"There is a scourge in rural crime across the country and this was a classic example of what an alert community can do," he said.

He also insisted the incident showed that political attacks on his party over garda cutbacks were wrong.

"Two garda patrol cars arrived within minutes and a second suspect was apprehended by them," said the father of five.

"I never gave it a second thought. The members of the community pulled together and local gardai were there to help when we needed them.

"Tackling crime should not be just about what the Justice Minister Alan Shatter has to say; it has to be about everyone pulling together and this was the perfect example."

A garda spokesman said: "Two men were detained by gardai at Quigley's Point last Thursday evening and appeared in court last Friday."

Meanwhile, gardai in west Sligo have carried out more than 40 armed checkpoints in a bid to thwart a rural burglary crimewave.

It follows a number of incidents where armed gangs have raided several homes in the area.

Inspector Colm Nevin, from Ballymote garda station, said: "The armed checkpoints will become a regular feature in the run-up to Christmas as we attempt to put an end to gang activities in the area.

"The checkpoints have been set up as a crime prevention measure but are also being used to gain valuable information about the movement of suspect vehicles."

Irish Independent