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I'm still alive, shouts pal of robber shot dead by gardai as he's sent to jail

A MAN jailed over a raid in which his accomplice was shot dead by gardai roared 'I'm still alive' at officers after he was jailed.

Keith Murtagh (25) shouted at gardai as he was being taken out of court after being sentenced to the attempted robbery of a cash van in Lucan.

After sentence was handed down at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, Murtagh shouted at gardai: "I'm still alive, I'm still alive."

Murtagh's associate, Gareth Molloy (27) fired a shot before he was shot and killed by a detective in the failed raid. Armed gardai were monitoring the men before they held up the van.

Murtagh was also hit and underwent emergency surgery. He was arrested after he was released from hospital six weeks later.

After the evidence was heard, Murtagh insisted on addressing the court and said the gardai involved were murderers.

He said he and the deceased they had know each other all their lives. He apologised to the cash van workers and gardai but added: "No one turned around to me and said, 'put down the weapon'. I'm casting them as murderers."

Judge Katherine Delahunt sentenced him to ten years on the attempted robbery charge and eight years on the weapons possession charge to run concurrently. She suspended the final two years of the longer sentence.

"This crime ranks about as serious as we get in this court," she said. "There can be no other terror worse for cash van workers than to have to stare down the barrel of a sawn-off shotgun."

Murtagh of Mariners Port, Sheriff Street Lower, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a weapon with intent to endanger life at Foxboro Road, Lucan on May 15, 2009.

Detective Sergeant Sean Cosgrove told Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, that the cash van containing three men was on its route in Lucan when they were warned by radio that there was suspicious activity in the area.

They stopped to refill an ATM and Tim McDonald got out to open the machine. A black car pulled up and two men in balaclavas got out. One grabbed him and pushed him against the van while threatening to shoot him.

A colleague inside the van saw what happened and ejected a cash box containing €40,000.

Mr McDonald then heard a single gunshot and was sure he was going to be killed.

He then heard gardai call out repeatedly, 'drop your weapon' followed by several more shots.