Garda inquiry into missing €27,500 moves to second station
Gardai investigating the disappearance of almost €27,500, which was being held as potential evidence in a criminal court trial, have extended their search to a second station.
The focus of their initial inquiries was on Malahide garda station in north Co Dublin after investigators were told that it had been stored there.
But officers are now satisfied that the money was not taken to Malahide and there is no record of the cash ever being recorded on an official property log there.
The cash was recovered originally by gardai following a robbery at the Coolock branch of the Woodies DIY chain on the Malahide Road in June 2009.
The inquiries into its disappearance have now switched to Coolock station, where the money was at one stage shown to a suspect being questioned about the robbery.
The raiders made off with almost €60,000 but only one robber's share of the money was retrieved by gardai.
Officers were then meant to store the cash at a garda station while two men went on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in connection with the robbery.
Gardai say it is not yet clear whether the money was lost, mislaid or placed by accident in another evidence bag, or stolen.
Officers did not realise that the cash was missing until Woodies sought the return of the money after the court case had been completed.
It is the third time a sum of money in garda storage has gone missing in north Co Dublin. But gardai do not think this latest incident is linked to the two previous cases.
In February, gardai discovered a discrepancy in a sum of money lodged in a safe at Balbriggan station.
When the money left in an evidence bag was counted, officers discovered that €9,000 was missing from the original amount of €26,000 and after extensive inquiries determined that the money had been stolen.
In April, investigators arrested a rank-and-file member of the force and questioned him about the theft of the €9,000 before releasing him without charge.
During the inquiries into the Balbriggan missing money, gardai discovered that a separate haul of €4,000 had gone missing from a locker at Balbriggan station.
The criminal trial into the theft of the Woodies cash heard that a manager and a doorman had been responsible for the robbery and both men later shared the cash.
Trevor Knowles, of McAuley Avenue, Artane, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, with the final two years suspended.
The court was told that his accomplice was the manager of the branch, Thomas McDermott, of Jenkinstown, Dundalk. He was given a three-year suspended sentence for his role after €27,450 was recovered during a search of his house.