Thursday 22 February 2018

Victim of latest tiger raid lucky to escape with life, say gardai


THE wife of a Brinks Allied director who was the victim of yesterday's tiger kidnapping in counties Louth and Dublin was "fortunate" to escape with her life, gardai have said.

Shirley Hoyne was left bound and gagged in a shed at the back of a derelict house after being abandoned by the robbers. They set fire to her car at the side of the house on Howth Road but alerted no one as to her whereabouts.

Fortunately, a Dublin Fire Brigade officer inspected the property after extinguishing the fire and heard Mrs Hoyne knocking on the wall of the tin hut where she was tied up. She was unable to call for help.

The Dublin gang suspected of the kidnapping and robbery also repeatedly threatened to murder her and she was handled very roughly during her ordeal, gardai said.

Despite targeting the most senior management figure to have become the victim of any tiger kidnapping so far, the gang only managed to escape with €170,000 from the Brinks Allied headquarters in Clonshaugh, north Dublin.

Security procedures put in place to counter the rise in tiger kidnappings have meant that large sums of money are no longer available to staff members whose families have been kidnapped. There would have been tens of millions of euro in the depot, according to industry sources.

It is the same depot that was robbed in 1995 by the gang reputedly led by Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch. That was then the biggest robbery in Ireland's history and the gang escaped with IR£4m (€5.1m).

The Hoynes' ordeal began at 9.30 on Friday night, when three men dressed in boiler suits and masks forced their way into the couple's home at Brownstown, Monasterboice, Co Louth. They tied them up and held them at gunpoint through the night.

At 6am, they bundled Mrs Hoyne into the back of her silver Mercedes and drove her to the derelict house at 780 Howth Road, still bound, gagged and blindfolded.

The other two then forced Bill Hoyne to drive to the Brinks Allied security depot in Clonsaugh at 7.30am in his silver Toyota Landcruiser.

He was warned that his wife would be murdered if he did not get the gang a substantial amount of cash.

Gardai said one of the armed men got out of the car at Balbriggan cemetery. The second man went with Mr Hoyne, 42, to the Brinks depot.

He was directed to drive to Thatch Road in Whitehall, where he was told to drop the cash and leave on foot. The car was later found burnt out in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Gardai yesterday issued an appeal for any one who had witnessed any aspect of the kidnapping and robbery to contact them.

They said: "At 8.30am on Saturday, a silver Toyota Landcruiser, 01 KE 843, left the Brinks Allied premises in Clonshaugh. It was seen in the area of Plunkett College Drumcondra and Thatch Road, Whitehall. This vehicle was later found on fire in St John's Wood, Ashbourne."

Gardai are also seeking information in relation to movements of Mrs Hoyne's silver Mercedes, 02 D 43757, after 6am yesterday.

It was taken from the house in Monasterboice and found burning outside 780 Howth Road at around 9.30am.

An incident room has been set up at Drogheda garda station and anyone with information is asked to ring (041) 987 4200, the Garda Confidential Line (1800 666 111) or contact any garda station.

Sunday Independent

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