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'I flipped when they put gun to ex-wife's head'


 SCENE: Tadhg Cleary at his pharmacy

SCENE: Tadhg Cleary at his pharmacy

SCENE: Tadhg Cleary at his pharmacy

A GUN was held to a woman's head during a terrifying armed raid in Dublin

Pharmacist Tadhg Cleary told the Herald he “flipped” at the raiders before being brutally assaulted.

 Tadhg and his ex-wife Breda Leech had just locked up their business on the Strand Road in Portmarnock at 8.30pm last night when they were attacked by two raiders in balaclavas armed with handguns.

One of the thugs held a gun to Ms Leech’s head and Mr Cleary said he “just flipped and grabbed it from him”.

“We are both traumatised and in shock. It was a terrible ordeal,” he added. The raiders made off with a €30,000 Rolex watch.

He recalled the shocking sequence of events as they unfolded.

"I had just locked up with Breda, who is my business partner and ex-wife, and we were chatting at her car like we always do," said Tadhg.

"And then these guys just ran up and told us to put our hands up, but when one of them pressed a gun to Breda's head I just flipped and grabbed it from him.

"The other guy started throwing digs at me and we ended up in a scuffle. I got a few digs in too and they were trying to get us into Breda's car, but with all the shouting and commotion people started to come over to help.


"I didn't know what they wanted. The shop was already locked up and it would take too long to open, and they didn't get time to ask for money or anything.

"But they did take my watch which is a gold Rolex. It's worth around €30,000.

"They were both wearing balaclavas that only had holes for their eyes. Their mouths were covered so it was very hard to make out any of their features, but they had north Dublin accents."

After the scuffle the raiders fled in a dark 1994-registered BMW.

Tadhg said he will seek medical attention today for injuries to his eye and his hand that he received during the struggle.

Local gardai were alerted and recovered the getaway car at Red Arches in Baldoyle and arrested two men aged 22 and 23 nearby.

They are being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State at Coolock and Swords Garda Stations.

The culprits are described as both being 5ft 10ins tall, one of whom was wearing a grey balaclava and hoodie top. The second man was wearing a black balaclava that looked to be homemade.

Said Tadhg: "We were robbed at knifepoint by drug addicts around 20 years ago and it is a very frightening experience.


"Breda is very shocked today and as we talked about it all afterwards she kept wondering 'what if' and going through it in her mind. She was my main worry.

"It might have been foolish for me to react the way I did but something just takes over you."

Gardai in Malahide are investigating the robbery.

"I can't praise the gardai enough. They arrived very quickly," said Tadhg.

Any witnesses to the incident or anyone who may have seen any unusual activity in the the vicinity of the pharmacy on Strand Road prior to the incident are asked to contact Malahide gardai on 01 6664600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.