Friday 20 July 2018

'This is the lowest of the low' - Owner of children's adventure centre targeted by armed raiders in broad daylight

Brave manager stabbed by raiders who targeted children’s centre in broad daylight

CCTV footage of the raid in progress
CCTV footage of the raid in progress
CCTV footage of the raid in progress
CCTV footage of the raid in progress
Stock picture
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The owner of a popular children's play centre that was at the centre of an armed raid has described the armed thieves as "the lowest of the low".

Armed raiders who stormed the adventure centre packed with kids badly slashed one man’s hand as they tried to rob the business. 

CCTV footage of the raid in progress
CCTV footage of the raid in progress

Shocked families with children watched in terror as two masked men burst into Tallaght Adventure World in the Whitestown Business Park just before 6pm yesterday.

Manager Robbie Doyle bravely fought off the raiders, but was left with a gaping wound in his hand.

One of the raiders was armed with a long-bladed knife, while the second man had a metal pole.

A third man waited outside in a blue Ford Fiesta.

CCTV footage of the raid in progress
CCTV footage of the raid in progress

The injured man’s uncle is Dermot Richardson, who is owner of the popular play centre and a local independent councillor.

Speaking to Liveline, Mr Richardson described the raiders as "professionals".

"This was well-planned, these are professionals," he said.

"This is the lowest of the low, coming into a children's environment. There were no kids hurt."

Speaking today to the Herald, he continued: “I was having a coffee with a customer when I heard my son shouting ‘Dad, dad, quick, quick’ and when I turned around I could see the two raiders running in.

“They were wearing balaclavas and the guy with the knife jumped the counter and ran to the office where my nephew Robbie Doyle, who is the manager, was counting the day’s takings.

“I ran down towards the kitchens and I was throwing cups and things at them to try and keep them back, but the knifeman got into the office and the other one was standing at the door swinging the pole around.

“The guy in the office was shouting and threatening Robbie, and then went to stab him in the head, but Robbie managed to protect himself and grabbed the knife.


“The raider then pulled it from his hand, leaving Robbie with a gaping wound.

“He has to have surgery this morning on the tendons and muscles in his hand and fingers.

“It’s a serious injury,” Mr Richardson said.

The raiders fled empty-handed and escaped in the Ford Fiesta, which was later found burned-out in the nearby Killinarden estate.

“There were families and children here at the time.

“It was very frightening. My biggest concern is for my customers and staff,” said Mr Richardson.

In the back office today, Dermot pointed out the blood of his nephew splattered on the floor from where he was cut with the knife.

There are also blood stains on the counter and the floor of the reception area, and broken mugs and cups.


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