A security man was recovering tonight after armed raiders shot him in the foot when he refused to hand over money during a hold-up on a cash delivery van.
Three armed and masked men confronted two Brinks Allied staff as they brought money to an ATM dispenser during morning rush hour on the Clontarf Road in north Dublin.
Two of the gang grabbed the worker and demanded money, even though he had no access to the cash.
Kevin McMahon, from trade union Siptu, said the young man was frog-marched back to the van before the raiders ordered his colleague to give them cash.
“Despite being told repeatedly that the new security system in the vans does not allow staff access to cash, the security man was shot in the ankle before his attackers made off,” the union representative said.
The raiders fled the scene empty-handed.
Gardaí said the attempted robbery took place near the Sheds pub at the junction of Clontarf Road with Vernon Avenue at around 7.45am.
The worker, who is in his 20s, was rushed to the Mater Hospital where he later underwent surgery for the injuries to his foot and ankle. His condition is not life-threatening.
Mr McMahon said cash-in-transit hold-ups had been rendered futile after improved rules and a strict licensing regime were brought in last year to prevent security lapses.
“Changes in the operation of the vans makes these attacks as futile as they are vicious”, the union boss said.
“The old tactic of grabbing one of the crew and threatening to shoot them, or actually shooting him in this case, is pointless as staff in the vans no longer have access to the cash.”
Unions, gardaí, the banks and cash-in-transit and security firms agreed tighter controls on access to cash last February after ATM deliveries were seen as a soft target for organised crime gangs in Dublin.
But Mr McMahon said: “Apparently there are still individuals out there who are not only callous enough to inflict gratuitous violence on ordinary workers trying to do their job, but who are ignorant of the changes and the futility of their activities.”
Brinks Allied declined to comment on the attempted robbery.
There has been a steady decline in the number of cash-in-transit robberies since they reached a high of more than 60 in 2004. The following year they fell by almost 20 to 44 cases and down again to 31 in 2006 and 20 in 2007.
Two specialist Garda operations Operation Delivery and Operation Anvil were set up to tackle the crime and drugs gangs believed to be behind the hold-ups.
Crime scene investigators closed off the roads for several hours to carry out forensic and technical examinations.
Gardaí at Clontarf are investigating and have appealed for anyone who was in the area at the time to come forward.