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Friday 20 September 2019

Terror as gang run through hotel with hammers

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Stock picture

Conor Feehan and Ken Foy

Children were left traumatised after a gang of hammer-wielding thugs burst into a busy hotel.

Gardaí are probing whether a west-Dublin gang are behind two frightening incidents on Sunday night in the capital.

In the first incident, a group of men wearing balaclavas ran through the lobby of the Green Isle Hotel just off the Naas Road about 9.15pm.

There were up to seven men in the group as staff saw the gang run past the reception area and into the bistro restaurant where families with children were dining.

"There were kids screaming and nobody knew what was going on," said one source.

"There was no efforts made to take money from the registers and after the gang ran around the bar and restaurant, they ran out the door again," they added.

Perplexed staff contacted gardaí and calmed the customers. Fifteen minutes later, three men whom gardaí believe could be part of the same gang ran into The Swallows pub in the Deansrath area of Clondalkin.

This pub is only a few kilometres from the hotel and is popular with locals. Again they were wearing balaclavas and carried hammers, and broke a pane of glass in the entrance door to the bar as they entered.

Witnesses said they only got a few feet in the door when they were confronted by a group of customers.

"There was a brief confrontation and then the guys fled. It was all over very quickly," they explained.

Good quality CCTV footage was recorded at both the Green Isle and The Swallows to help Garda investigations.

Gardaí are investigating whether the incidents stem from a feud that may have ignited at a Christening party that was held earlier in the day elsewhere in west Dublin.

While there was no trouble reported at the christening, it is understood people at the party had then moved on to other pubs in the area.

"Robbery does not appear to be a motive in these two incidents. No staff were threatened and there was no apparent effort to steal anything," said a source. "Instead, it looks like these thugs were looking for somebody in particular, and when they didn't find them in the Green Isle, they moved to The Swallows," they added.

Irish Independent

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