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Tiger kidnapper caught on camera

THIS is a chilling image of the terrifying moment that a businesswoman was kidnapped by five men armed with iron bars and hurleys.

The men are linked to a gang who have carried out a spate of Tiger kidnappings across Leinster.

The crime started with a stolen car in Co Cork on May 28 and ended in Navan, Co Meath, with an abduction of a shop assistant from her home in the early hours of May 29.

In an exclusive interview, Edel Farrell told the Herald: "I thought I was going to die -- they threatened to leave me in a pool of blood and told me they would get a shotgun.

"You see this kind of thing on telly - you never expect it to happen to you. It was a very frightening experience.

"I was in bed when the gang broke into the house. I live with my brother and I thought it was him coming home from the concert in Slane -- it was a terrible shock to be confronted by those men."

Gardai believe the gang had followed Ms Farrell (34) home. They broke into and ransacked the property before beating her across the face with a hurley.

They then took Ms Farrell hostage and forced her to drive to a local service station that she manages -- all the time shouting and threatening her.

Some gang members went with her while others followed in a 08 registered white Volkswagen Golf GTi.

But when they got to The Brink Service Station in Beauparc, Navan, the gang panicked when they realised they had forgotten to bring the keys to the station.

They then attempted to prise open the station's electric shutters with an iron bar and one of the robbers suffered an electric shock while doing this.

Things got even worse for the mob when they were noticed by people coming home from last May's Kings of Leon concert at nearby Slane Castle and gardai were notified.

A high-speed chase ensued, which gardai had to abandon because of the high volumes of concert-generated traffic on the roads in Co Meath.

Garda investigations have established that the white Golf GTi used by the gang had been stolen in Cork and fitted with false number plates in Monasterevin, Co Kildare.

The vehicle was discovered burnt out in Kilkenny.

Sources say that gardai are convinced the gang involved are "strongly connected" to a ruthless Traveller gang, based in Co Kildare, who are the chief suspects in three Tiger kidnap incidents in Co Kildare and one in Co Laois this year.

Edel Farrell's terrible ordeal will feature on tonight's Crimecall programme, which starts at 10.25pm on RTE One