THREE men have been accused of taking part in an armed raid on a south Dublin shop in which staff were allegedly threatened with a hatchet and knife.
Patrick Power (30), Jason Kirwan (31) and Joseph Zambra (43) appeared in Dublin District Court today charged with robbing a Centra store in Stillorgan at the weekend.
It is alleged they were caught “red handed” leaving the scene in a car with €1,200 in stolen cash, a hatchet and knife.
Judge Bernadette Owens granted them bail and adjourned their cases for the directions of the DPP to be made available.
Mr Kirwan, of Elmdale Crescent, Ballyfermot; Mr Zambra (43) from Inagh Road, also in Ballyfermot and Mr Power from Dowland Road, Walkinstown are all charged with robbery.
Objecting to bail, gardai said it would be alleged that two men, one armed with a hatchet and the other with a knife, entered Centra, Kilmacud Road Lower, Stillorgan on December 29, after 6pm and threatened staff before taking €1,200 in cash from the till.
Gardai said the two got into a blue Volkswagen Passat and along with a driver, left the scene. A member of the public pointed the car out to gardai responding to the alarm call, and said the occupants were involved in the robbery.
The Passat was stopped less than 100 metres away and a knife and hatchet were recovered from the car.
Garda Stephen Byrne said Mr Power made no reply to the charge after caution.
Garda Karl O’Neill said Mr Kirwan, a father-of-three also made no reply to the charge.
Garda Brendan Dowling said Mr Zambra’s reply to the charge after caution was “I robbed nobody.”
Applying for bail, lawyers for the three said the accused were presumed innocent.
Judge Owens first granted Mr Power bail but he refused to sign the bond, saying although he wanted bail he wanted to “do a couple of weeks in custody to get me head together” first.
He was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court this Friday.
Gda O’Neill said in his opinion the accused were caught “red handed.”
Mr Kirwan’s barrister Kevin McCrave said there was a constitutional presumption in favour of bail and the gardai were not alleging his client was a flight risk.
Mr Kirwan was granted bail subject to his mother giving a sworn undertaking to ensure he appears in court.
Another condition is that Mr Kirwan, a father-of-three stays out of Stillorgan.
Questioned by Mr Zambra's lawyer, Gda Dowling accepted that Mr Zambra was not one of the two men seen entering Centra and although he put himself at the scene in interview, he gave an account and said he “didn’t have any knowledge of what was going on at the time.”
Mr Zambra, a father-of-two would abide by conditions, his solicitor said.
Among the conditions imposed by the judge, he is to sign on twice weekly at Ballyfermot Garda Station
Both Mr Zambra and Mr Kirwan's cases were adjourned to Dun Laoghaire District Court on February 11.
No cash lodgements were required for bail.
Legal aid was grated after the court heard the accused were not working.