Wednesday 21 August 2019

WATCH: 'About six or seven gardai came running in with guns pulled' - three men arrested after attempted ATM robbery

ATM robberies since March 2018
Ray Arnold cleans up the damage across the road from the scene of the ATM foiled raid on the Main Street in Virginia, Co Cavan. Pic Steve Humphreys

Thomas Lyons

Gardai have three people in custody in connection with a foiled ATM raid in the early hours of this morning.

The investigation is now focused on a fourth individual, who Gardaí say they will be able to apprehend in the coming days.

Bailieborough Superintendent Gordon Englishby recounted how at 2.30am Gardaí attached to Cavan Monaghan Garda Division foiled an attempt to raid an ATM at Main St, Virginia. The local Gardaí were supported by a unit from National Garda Support Unit at Harcourt Square.

A 28-year-old male was arrested at the scene. He is currently detained at Carrickmacross Garda Station.

A second 25-year-old male was arrested that afternoon following the search in the Virginia area.

He is currently being detained at Bailieborough Garda Station. The scene at Virginia is being examined by the local scene of crime unit.

A subsequent coordinated search at Moynalty Co Meath resulted in the arrest of a 61 year old male, the seizing of over €300,000 in cash and a number of vehicles described by the Superintendent as “suspicious”.

The three men are detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, meaning they can be held for seven days before being charged.

ATM robberies since March 2018
ATM robberies since March 2018

“This remains a live investigation. It is anticipated that there will be a number of further investigative actions taken in the not too distant future,” Superintendent Englishby said.

The Superintendent said this was a major breakthrough and said that it's highly likely it was linked to other ATM raids that happened in the North East in the last number of months.

The apprehending of the second man in Virginia in the middle of the day was observed by many people in the town.

Following a manhunt involving helicopters and sniffer dogs officers stormed into the Riverfront Hotel at 2.14pm to capture the fleeing raider.

Eye witnesses described the scene as a number of armed officers stormed into the toilets of the town center hostelry.

Hotel manager Caroline McGovern said: “It was a shock for everyone when you see 15 Gardaí coming in door.

“No one knew what was going on.”

A man in the toilets at the time when the raid took place spoke of his encounter: “I'm not the better of it.

“There was one person in a cubicle. I was on the way out of the toilet. I didn't see him but I got an awful fright. About six or seven guards came running in with guns pulled,” the man, who did not want to be named, told

The incident room has been established in Bailieborough Garda Station.

The Gardaí are asking any motorists who may have dash cam footage who were traveling on the Virginia -Bailiborough Road between 1.00amd and 3.00am to contact them on (042) 9654970.

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