Detention of tiger robbery suspects legal, says court

Three of the seven people detained as part the Garda investigation into last weekend's robbery of more than €7m from the Bank of Ireland have lost their High Court bid to be released on the grounds that their detention is unlawful.

Three of the seven people detained as part the Garda investigation into last weekend's robbery of more than €7m from the Bank of Ireland have lost their High Court bid to be released on the grounds that their detention is unlawful.

The three, two men and a woman, who were arrested last Friday night brought their applications on the grounds that their period of lawful detention had expired by the time the hearing of an application for an extension of 24 hours had commenced.

The State successfully argued that all three's detention was lawful and that the extension was made within time.

Today, Mr Justice Michael Peart following an inquiry under Article 40.2.2 of the constitution ruled that the three, who have not been charged with any offence, are lawfully detained.

The Judge said that the application raised important issues and he would given detailed and written reasons for his decision at a later date.

Moving the inquiry Mr Eanna Mulloy SC for one of the men told the court that his client was arrested at 9.55pm on Friday February 27 and then detained at the Bridewell Garda Station.

He was questioned about alleged offences in relation to the on February 26/27, including the possession of a firearm.

Counsel said that the maximum period of detention allowable under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State is 48 hours before a person has to be either released charged, or brought before the courts to seek an extension of the time that they can been detained without charge.

On Sunday an application to extend the time of detention for all seven was heard before District Court Judge Anne Watkin at the Bridewell District Court.

That hearing commenced at 7pm, and the first one concluded at 9.12pm.

Afterwards the Judge asked to if the remaining six could be heard together.

However, lawyers representing the six said that they required that the applications for each person would have to heard in turn.

In the case of Mr Mulloy's client, the hearing to extend time commenced at 10.45pm and concluded at 11.07pm, when Judge Watkin made an order to extent the period of detention by 24 hours.

Mr Michael O'Higgins SC for a second man and a woman who were detained, also on Friday night at an apartment in Phibsborough in Dublin as part of the same investigation and were being held at Pearse Street garda station said his clients detention was unlawful also because the time limited had expired.

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