Gardaí made 24 arrests over tiger raid in one day

GARDAÍ investigating a €2.28 million tiger raid carried out 64 searches and arrested 24 people in a single day, a trial has heard.

David Byrne, aged 39, of Old Brazeel Way, Knocksedan, Swords, and Niall Byrne, aged 29, of Crumlin Road Flats, Crumlin Road, are alleged to have been members of a gang that held Securicor worker Paul Richardson and his family hostage during a raid in March 2005.

Both men have pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning the Richardson family at Ashcroft, Raheny, on March 13 and 14, 2005 and to robbing Paul Richardson and Securicor of €2.3 million on the same date.

Retired Gda Supt Nicholas Conneely told the court that, on April 26, 2005, he authorised 64 search warrants as part of the investigation. He said that a number of these warrants were issued because he believed evidence, including an Uzi machine gun, other firearms, mobile phones, balaclavas and wigs, would be found at the addresses.

Gda Supt Conneely told the court that after the robbery and kidnapping an incident room was set up in Santry Garda Station and investigating gardaí met at least once a day in the weeks following.

He said that during this time he devoted 16 hours of his day to the investigation and was familiar with every aspect of the case.

He told the court that on April 27, 2005, teams of gardaí carried out early-morning searches on addresses in Coolock, Bayside, Swords, Drimnagh, Mulhuddart and Ashbourne, Co Meath.

The arresting officer said that on April 27 he arrested David Byrne at his home. The court also heard that Det Sgt Sean Greenan arrested Niall Byrne at his home that day.

The trial continues before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury.

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