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The day the IRA tried and failed to kidnap billionaire retail giant Galen Weston at his Wicklow home 

The gun battle raged across the neatly mown lawn of his lakeside mansion 

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Canadian-born retail tycoon Galen Weston with his Irish wife Hilary in 2015. Photo: Ben A Pruchnie

Canadian-born retail tycoon Galen Weston with his Irish wife Hilary in 2015. Photo: Ben A Pruchnie

Roundwood Park

Roundwood Park

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Canadian-born retail tycoon Galen Weston with his Irish wife Hilary in 2015. Photo: Ben A Pruchnie

The telephone wires to the lakeside mansion were cut at 4.10am that warm August morning and as dawn broke over the Wicklow hills, two groups of heavily armed men watched for any sign that would indicate the other was on the move. 

The setting for the tense game of stealth was the grounds of Roundwood Park, a gated 18th century castellated mansion set in a 373-acre estate deep in the heart of the Wicklow mountains. Once owned by Sean T Ó Ceallaigh, a former IRA leader and past President of Ireland, it had been purchased in 1968 by the Canadian-born retail tycoon Galen Weston and his glamorous wife, the Dublin fashion model Hilary Frayne, who lived there with their two children, Alannah, then 14 and Galen Jnr, aged 12.


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