Armed gardai arrest 'idiots' after bungled bid to collect cash
ARMED gardai arrested two men in Dublin city centre after reports that they both had handguns as part of a “bizarre debt-collecting mission”.
The pair were found to be in possession of replica firearms when they were arrested at Arran Street East in the Smithfield area at around 10am on Wednesday.
The alarm was raised after a man went into a restaurant on the southside of the city centre and claimed that two armed men had entered a nearby pub.
They said they were looking for a man who is an employee of the pub.
It is understood that gardai were made aware of the incident but the men could not be found.
Officers were then alerted to the presence of the same two men in the Smithfield area two hours after the original incident.
Armed units rushed to the scene and located the pair, who are both well-known to gardai in Co Louth.
The Dundalk men, aged 18 and 29, were arrested and taken to Pearse Street Garda Station where they were questioned under firearms legislation before being released without charge.
Detectives are working on the theory that the pair had been enlisted to come to the capital from Louth to “intimidate and threaten” the pub worker because he owed money to another individual.
Investigations have established that the man borrowed money from a number of individuals but has not paid it back.
He was not working in the pub when the pair entered looking for him as he is on “extended sick leave”, according to sources.
“This is a strange one – these fellas are definitely no criminal masterminds,” a source said.
The Herald has established that the older man has multiple previous convictions for firearms, assault, drugs, possession of knives and other offences and is considered a violent and dangerous thug.
His teenage associate has been described as a “troubled young man”.
“Gardai were left astounded by all this – whoever hired these idiots probably needs their head examined,” a source said.