Tuesday 12 December 2017

Raiders make off with €100,000 after tiger kidnapping of postmaster's son

The Kelliher family-run post office in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, where the tiger raid took place yesterday
The Kelliher family-run post office in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, where the tiger raid took place yesterday
Gardai carry out forensic examinations yesterday
Kidnapped: Tommy Kelliher

Barry Duggan and Tom Brady

RAIDERS made off with more than €100,000 after they kidnapped the son of a postmaster.

The parents of Tommy Kelliher from Newcastle West, Co Limerick, were abroad at a wedding when their 25-year-old son was taken at gunpoint just before he opened the family-run post office yesterday morning. He was later released unharmed.

The post office is one of the biggest sub-offices in the country and covers a large catchment area.

Last night, Tommy Kelliher Snr told of his relief that his eldest son was unharmed as he made arrangements to fly home.

Speaking to the Irish Independent from Spain, Mr Kelliher said he knew very little about the tiger kidnapping.

"He's fine. He is all right -- that is the main thing. He has been through an awful ordeal," Mr Kelliher said.

"I'm getting a flight now. You probably know as much as me. He's safe -- that's all I know," he said.

The investigation into the brazen raid in west Limerick is continuing and gardai have already recovered vital evidence.

Officers were last night continuing to speak to Tommy Kelliher after he was discovered in the boot of his father's black BMW in the Templegreen housing estate yesterday afternoon.

The drama unfolded yesterday morning as the young man went to his barber shop business -- located at the rear of the post office -- in the Market Yard, Newcastle West around 8.30am.

At the rear of the premises, Tommy was confronted by a man wearing a balaclava and armed with a handgun.

Officers believe his father's 2009 Limerick-registered vehicle was then used to transport him away from the town centre.

While Tommy was held, a female staff member in the post office was ordered to gather as much cash as she could and bring it to a wooded area between Carrigkerry and Athea in west Limerick between 11am and noon.

It is understood that €105,000 was handed over and at 4pm, Tommy was discovered unharmed in the boot of his father's car in the Templegreen housing estate in Newcastle West.

Unusually for such a crime, the car was not burnt out and investigating officers were forensically examining the vehicle in a bid to recover vital clues.

Officers are also attempting to identify where the victim was taken during the ordeal.

Irish Independent

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