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Hero off-duty garda takes on armed cash van raiders

A BRAVE off-duty garda­ has been hailed a hero today after he tackled an armed gang on his own following a cash-in-transit robbery.

The raid happened at a shopping centre in Ratoath, Co Meath at noon yesterday when a security man collecting cash at the Corbally Centre was threatened by a man in dark clothing with his head covered brandishing a gun.

He demanded the cash-box and jumped into a waiting grey Renault Kangoo van driven by a second man.

But what the raiders did not know was that an off-duty garda had spotted the robbery, and he chased the raiders as they sped away from the scene.

The raiders drove down a side road of the shopping centre to a cul de sac, and were boxed-in by the unarmed garda.


“I heard two cars stopping very quickly, which seemed unusual so I looked out and saw two men all dressed in black jumping out of the van and pulling something off the front seat,” one witness told

“Then I heard the man from the second car shouting at them. He said drop it’ and mentioned a name, so I think he must have known who the raiders were,” he added.

“There was a bit of a stand-off and then the two guys in the dark clothes ran through a gap in the fence beside a tree and ran across a field and back up towards the shops,” the witness explained.

“After that, a number of garda cars arrived and there were guys collecting evidence in bags from the field and the van.”

A garda spokesman said the suspects pointed the weapon at the unarmed garda when they got out of the van, before they dropped the gun and the cash-box and fled into fields.

A search of the area was mounted but the raiders escaped.

During a follow-up search of a house at nearby Streamstown, items of black clothing, which gardai believe were associated with the robbery, were found.

The gun turned out to be an imitation weapon.

“We are following a definite line of inquiry in relation to this robbery,” the garda spokesman told the Herald today.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Ashbourne Garda station on 01 8010600.