Gardaí hunting third member of gang after post office robbery

Gardaí protect the scene at Waterville Post Office, Co Kerry.

Gardaí in Kerry were last night hunting a third member of a gang after a post office was robbed at gunpoint, a Garda car repeatedly rammed, and detectives discharged warning shots.

The two detectives who fired the shots were in the rammed patrol car and suffered injuries.

They were taken to Kerry General Hospital for treatment and tests.

Two of the gang members were arrested close to Beaufort, near Killarney, some 50km from Waterville, where the robbery took place.

Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan thanked local people for their “tremendous support” in tracking the criminals — via the text alert system — and said their help “led to the successful arrest” of two suspects.

He also praised the injured gardaí and wished them a speedy recovery.

The two detectives, a male and a female, are young members attached to Killarney Garda Station.

The robbery of the post office in Waterville took place at around 11.30am. There was a cash delivery earlier that morning and gardaí suspect the gang knew this from reconnaissance.

The raiders smashed glass at the counter and escaped with a sum of cash.

Gardaí hunting third member of gang after post office robbery

The gang is well known to gardaí for criminality.

The three-man gang left in a car, which they abandoned a short time later. They got into a second vehicle and travelled along a maze of back roads in the direction of Killarney. Gardaí utilised the text alert system and Radio Kerry to ask people for their assistance in tracking suspect vehicles.

An unmarked Garda car from Killarney Station came upon the raiders and signalled at them to stop. The criminals rammed the Garda car repeatedly, resulting in each of the two members inside to discharge their weapons in warning shots.

The raiders forced their way past and a short distance later abandoned their second car, a 03D Mazda, setting it alight, and took to neighbouring fields on foot.

A major operation was put in place and two of the men were arrested. The Regional Support Unit, based in Cork, joined in the search, as did the Garda Dog team.

The third man had not been located, but gardaí have a good idea who he is and are hopeful of finding him. No firearms were recovered.

The case has been referred to the Garda Ombudsman as shots were discharged.

There was a separate armed robbery in Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny, also involving a post office. A lone raider in his mid-20s was arrested after being chased by three members of the public.


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