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Dad-of-two gets five years over €855k raid plot

A Dublin man who took part in a conspiracy to steal €855,000 from a cash-in-transit van in Kildare has been given a five-year sentence.

Michael Ryan (36) claimed to have got involved in the enterprise when he was "hard up for money" after losing his job as a roofer due to a back injury.

Ryan, of Carton Drive, Poppintree, Ballymun, admitted conspiring with others between January 1, 2007, and November 2, 2007, to steal cash from Chubb Ireland, outside Tesco, on Shackleton Road, Celbridge, Co Kildare, on December 2, 2007.

A co-accused, Jeffrey Morrow (27), of Hazlecroft Road, Finglas, was jailed for six years for his role last October.

Another man, Darryl Caffrey, (34) of Cherry Park, Rivervalley, Swords, was sentenced to three years in January 2009 for supplying inside information to a criminal organisation through his role as a cash van worker for Chubb Ltd.

Judge Patricia Ryan imposed a five-year sentence on Ryan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, with the final year suspended on strict conditions.

Det Garda Martin Mulligan, of the Organised Crime Unit, told Sean Guerin, prosecuting, that gardai came into the possession of information about a possible planned robbery on a cash-in-transit van and mounted a surveillance operation on six suspects who gathered in four vehicles at 6am in Ballymun.

Garda Mulligan said the vehicles travelled in convoy to near the headquarters of Chubb Ireland and from there followed a cash-in-transit van to Celbridge.

He said the occupants of the cars switched around during the morning and Ryan was observed as a passenger in two of the cars. He said the van arrived at Tesco in Celbridge just before 10am and the driver got out to deliver the cash.

He said Ryan and another man approached the van but failed in an attempt to open the door.

Garda Mulligan said Ryan returned to one of the cars and then approached the van again. At this point gardai intervened and Ryan dropped a set of keys.

The keys were found to open four Chubb vans but not this one. Garda Mulligan said Ryan was arrested and the car he was in was found to have a walkie- talkie.

He said that on the way to the garda station Ryan complained about his handcuffs and told gardai: "Sure I am innocent anyway, you struck too soon.

He said Ryan, a father-of-two, had three previous convictions.

Garda Mulligan accepted a suggestion from Patrick McEntee, defending, that Ryan's family were hardworking and decent.

Mr McEntee said Ryan had worked for five years with a roofing company and his employer found him hardworking and honest. He said he developed back problems and had to leave that employment three years ago

He said Ryan's sister had been seriously disabled since birth and did not have long to live. He said Ryan was anxious to be sentenced so he would be able to have proper visits with her in custody.

He said visits on remand were difficult as they were not allowed physical contact.

Mr McEntee said Ryan had got involved in the offence because he was "hard up for money" and feels great shame. He said Ryan had learned his lesson and was anxious to get back to work.