Friday 24 January 2020

Shopkeeper froze as masked raider shouted: 'give me the money'

Siblings Dolores and Thomas McNamara outside their shop. Photo: Brian Gavin/Press 22
Siblings Dolores and Thomas McNamara outside their shop. Photo: Brian Gavin/Press 22

David Raleigh

A rural shopkeeper has told how she froze in terror after a masked man, armed with a knife, attempted to rob her.

Dolores McNamara, who owns McNamara's Shop, Glin, Co Limerick, was chatting to customers on Thursday when a man in dark clothing and armed with a blade ran in and demanded cash from the shop till.

"He was tall and thin and wearing a balaclava. He was dressed all in black. I'd say he was a young man. He was very close up," Ms McNamara said.

"He ran in.... shouting 'give me the money'. I just froze. I never even thought about opening the till. I just stood, frozen," she added.

Ms McNamara, who runs the shop with her older brother Thomas, both aged in their 50s, said no one was injured in the incident, which happened at around 4pm.

"I wasn't harmed, but I was sick to my stomach this morning over it. I'm getting over it," she said.

"I'm a bit shaken alright. I didn't believe it was happening, I was in shock. It never happened in the shop before."

Dolores said the local garda was on holidays at the time of the incident, but that both a uniform and detective unit from nearby Newcastle West responded.

Read more: Raider 'had me by the throat, it was terrifying', says shopkeeper

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The armed raider ran from the shop when Thomas McNamara appeared in the shop after hearing the masked man shouting.

"He saw my brother and he ran off. I think he thought I was on my own. I was there, my brother was there and a customer was there. There was another lady nearby too," Ms McNamara said.

The man was seen turning right after exiting the shop and running down the main street.

Ms McNamara praised gardaí for their swift response.

She also thanked her "good neighbours and friends and local businesses for making sure I'm OK."

A local source said Ms McNamara's family were "very popular people" in the village and that "she didn't deserve this".

"Dolores and her brother Tom were very lucky they weren't knifed. Everyone here is checking in on them making sure they are safe," they added.

Gardaí at Newcastle West confirmed they are investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, gardaí have arrested two men and seized drugs, cash and other property during an operation in Galway.

Shortly before 4pm on Thursday, gardaí from Tuam, Co Galway, on active patrol as part of Operation Thor, stopped a car on the N17 at Farranamartin.

A spokesman confirmed that during a search of the vehicle, property, drugs and cash was recovered.

Two men were arrested at the scene.

Both men, who are aged in their 20s and 40s, are currently being detained at Tuam Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Gardaí believe that the items recovered are the proceeds of criminal activity in counties Mayo, Galway and Clare in recent days. Investigating officers have appealed for the owners of the property to contact them.

Irish Independent

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