Wednesday 16 October 2019

Armed robbery trial hears off-duty garda stopped man burning gloves and clothing

Declan Brennan

THE trial of three men accused of carrying out the armed robbery of over €59,000 from a city centre car park has heard how an off-duty garda stopped a man burning a bag containing black gloves, clothing and a cable tie.

Alan McCrea (37) is alleged to have been the “inside man”, while Michael Donnelly (32) and Colin Moloney (36) are alleged to have been armed with guns or replica guns and to have tied staff up with cable ties.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that the raiders got away from the robbery with just under €60,000. Later that same day an off-duty garda allegedly spotted one man burning a bag in a field in Lucan.

Mr McCrea of The Village, Porterstown, Blanchardstown, Mr Donnelly of Oranmore Road, Ballyfermot and Mr Moloney of Hillcrest Drive, Lucan have all pleaded not guilty to robbing €59,233 from Damien Kelly at Q car park, Royal College of Surgeons, Mercer Street, Dublin on July 26, 2009 and to possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery at the same place and date.

Garda Daniel Finucane said he was driving to Lucan Garda Station to begin a shift at 2pm when he saw a silver car driving in the opposite direction. He said he saw a front seat passenger throw two bags over a wall into a field.

He told Tony McGillycuddy BL, prosecuting, that he stopped his car and watched from his rear view mirror as the man went into the field. Garda Finucane said he then reversed his car and walked into the field.

He said he saw the man had two green plastic bags and had set one of them on fire and was trying to get the second one burning.

The garda told the court that he asked the man what he was doing and the man told him he was burning rubbish. The garda said he took one of the bags off the man before the man fled.

The garda said he tried to extinguish the burning bag before running after the man.

The court was shown that the contents retrieved from the second bag were two black gloves, a yellow t-shirt, a brown Adidas track suit, a pair of runners and a black cable tie.

Garda Finucane said he later returned to the field and found a knife with a burnt handle at the spot where the first bag had been set on fire.

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury of eight men and four women.

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