A couple and their child were abducted during a tiger kidnapping-style robbery at a post office.
An armed gang targeted the home of the An Post worker in the Forest Park housing estate in Drogheda at about 10pm on Monday and held the three for a number of hours.
Gardai said the traumatised family were taken to another location before the man was forced to go to the Post Office at West Street in Drogheda this morning.
He took a substantial amount of money, which was handed over to the gang.
Shortly after 1pm, his partner and child were released unharmed on the Tyrrelstown to Clonee Road in Damastown, Dublin 15.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said: "I deplore the kidnapping of people and the subsequent robbery at a post office in Drogheda.
"This is one of the most vicious forms of crime and our sympathies go out to the victims."
A Garda spokesman said during the course of the morning officers became aware of the incident and a comprehensive response team was put in place involving both local and national units.
Mr Shatter continued: "Based on initial information I have received I have asked the Garda authorities to let me have a detailed report on the circumstances surrounding the incident, including, in particular, whether agreed procedures for dealing with this sort of incident were followed."
Gardai appealed to the public for information on any suspicious activity during the course of the tiger kidnapping, particularly in Forest Park housing estate from yesterday evening to midday, around the Post Office at West Street from early this morning, and in Damastown from 11am and 1.30pm.
They also want to know more about a silver Opel Corsa car which was discovered burnt out in the Summerseat Housing Estate in Clonee (Clonee to Lucan Road) at approximately 11.30am.
An incident room has been set up at Drogheda Garda Station which can be contacted on 041 983 8777.
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