A Cavan shop owner has spoke of how he feared his family would be killed after being kidnapped.
Rodney Dolan, owner of the Centra supermarket in Ballyjamesduff, was asleep in the house, as were his father, brother Gavin, and his brother’s fiancée, when four masked men entered the house and kidnapped them at gunpoint.
Mr Dolan, his brother, and his brother’s fiancée were taken downstairs, put on their knees and their hands tied with cable-ties before being driven to a quarry. Speaking to RTÉ radio, Mr Dolan said the ordeal began just before 2am on Tuesday.
“I heard the alarm of the house going off and I also heard strange voices in the house,” he said. “So I got out of bed and looked out my bedroom door and I saw a man on the landing with a torch and a handgun and he had a black ski mask on.”
Mr Dolan said he was quizzed about cash by the intruders before all three were bundled into his jeep and driven to the outskirts of Ballyjamesduff.
“They said: ‘Where’s the safe?’ I said: ‘I don’t have a safe.’ ‘Where’s the cash?’ I said: ‘I don’t have cash in the house. You can beat me up, you can shoot me but the answer will still be the same, I don’t have cash or a safe in the house.’ ”
Mr Dolan said once the intruders asked about keys, he knew the robbery was a sophisticated operation. “They had keys and at one stage they said: ‘Are these the keys to your Centra shop?’ I said they were. At that stage then, I knew what they were looking for. They were looking for me and they were looking to rob the shop.”
He said when he realised the jeep was not taking them to the shop he was fearful for his life.
“I was getting confused then and, at that point, I was getting worried,” he said. “They asked me at gunpoint what was the code of the shop, how do the keys work, the keys of the ATM, the keys of the safe, your codes and all of that. They said: ‘We are going now and we are leaving this man here and if any of the information that you have given us is incorrect he’s going to shoot you.’
“At that stage, we were parked on a bit of a slope and I don’t know why but I had a vision in my head that we were parked at the entrance to a lake and I thought at that stage they might release the handbrake and roll us into the lake and drown us when they had their job done.”
After stealing a substantial sum from the shop, the gang left the trio in the jeep from which they later escaped.
Inquiries are ongoing.
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