Gardaí in Kerry were continuing searches yesterday for a third member of a gang involved in an armed robbery and the ramming of a Garda car, resulting in the injury of two detectives.
A search operation, involving 30 gardaí, was conducted in the Beaufort area, near Killarney, throughout the day. The suspect was part of a three-man gang that conducted an armed robbery of a post office in Waterville at 11.30am on Wednesday.
Gardaí suspect that the gang knew a cash delivery had been made earlier that day. They escaped in a Ford car, which they abandoned a short distance later, and got into another vehicle.
They took the back roads to Killarney but on the way were intercepted by an unmarked garda car. The two detectives flagged them to stop, but the gang drove their Mazda at the vehicle, ramming it repeatedly.
They pointed a handgun at the gardaí, which resulted in the two detectives each discharging their weapons in warning shots.
The gang forced their way past and continued towards Killarney.
They abandoned their vehicle, set it alight and escaped on foot over fields.
Two men were arrested, but a third escaped.
The two detectives, a male and a female, were injured and taken to Kerry General Hospital for treatment and tests.
A major search operation was put in place, assisted by the armed regional support unit from Cork and the dog unit.
The area was protected overnight and a search recommenced yesterday.
Chief superintendent Con Cadogan appealed to landowners to search their properties and lands and to immediately contact gardaí if they notice anything suspicious.
He credited the “tremendous response” of the local community, through the text alert system and social media, in tracking the gang’s cars which led to the arrests.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved