UNNAMED local civilian has become a hero this week after assisting gardai in the pursuit of two men, armed with a gun, following a robbery at Portmarnock Credit Union.
The financial institution was the target of an armed robbery on Friday, November 16, after which the two men hijacked a car and fled the scene.
A passerby drove a member of An Garda Siochana in pursuit of the two men, leading to their arrest and the recovery of the stolen money and the firearm.
At approximately 6pm on Friday evening, two males entered the Credit Union armed with a gun and threatened staff before leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash. There was one customer on the premises at the time of the robbery.
On leaving, the men were confronted by a garda on mountain bike patrol in the area. According to a Garda spokesperson, two shots were fired at the garda before the men hijacked a car, pulled a woman from it and made their escape.
The garda then stopped a passing vehicle and the civilian driver drove the garda in pursuit of the hijacked car.
The gardai recovered a motor car along with a quantity of cash and a handgun in Belmayne a short time later. A man was arrested at the scene.
A second man was later arrested in connection with the robbery.
Derek Murphy, who is aged in his 40s, was charged with having a firearm earlier this week, while Sean Donnelly of Belcamp Crescent, Coolock, was charged with robbery. Both men appeared in court earlier this week and, at the time of going to print, were remanded in custody until their next hearing at Cloverhill District Court.
According to a Garda spokesperson, the incident was very serious. “The whole thing was very traumatic for the staff, customer and the other people involved. That’s why it was important for us that we managed to make a quick arrest and the investigation so far has led to two people being charged and kept in custody in relation to the incident.”
Enquiries are ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Malahide Garda Station on 01 666 4600, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
“We’ve got a huge positive response from people but if anyone else saw anything around that time that we would ask them to contact us in Malahide,” the spokesperson concluded.
The work of the gardai was highly commended by local Labour councillor Peter Coyle who said he was “very pleased” with the success of the Gardai following the robbery last week.
In a note sent to gardai, Cllr Coyle said: “I, in conjunction with local residents, wish to extend congratulations to the gardai in the success of its operations in the Portmarnock and Coolock district at the weekend. The value of having community gardai out on the ground was very much highlighted in this case. My congratulations and best wishes particularly goes to the community garda involved in giving chase after the armed raid”.
“The success in this case gives a lot of comfort to local communities to know that gardai are out and about all the time. The value of community gardai being around, particularly on mountain bikes, is vindicated by the success in this case,” he said.