‘They told me to lie down but I wouldn’t’

Bray People - - News - Mary FOG­A­RTY

BRAY Deputy Dick Roche says he was ‘strangely calm’ when a gun­man pointed a sawn-off shot­gun at him and or­dered him to lie down dur­ing an armed raid at the five-star Mar­riott Ho­tel in Druid’s Glen on Mon­day.

‘They told me to lie down, but I wouldn’t,’ said the Gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, still shaken by in­ci­dent in which he and sev­eral other peo­ple were held cap­tive as the gun­men searched for cash and valu­ables.

‘I was strangely calm, but wor­ried that the gun might go off,’ said Min­is­ter Roche.

‘They didn’t re­alise it was me. They must have thought I was tak­ing the money from the ho­tel,’ he spec­u­lated.

Roche said that he had just had his reg­u­lar morn­ing swim at the ho­tel and was out­side in his car go­ing through con­stituency pa­pers when three vil­lains ap­proached him.

‘Give us that, give us the money,’ said one of them. He replied that he did not have much money and that they must have the wrong man.

He said that the gun­men wore gloves and bal­a­clavas or ski-masks, were dressed headto-toe in black. At least one of them was armed and bran­dished a shot­gun just inches from him.

The gang then forced Min­is­ter Roche and his driver in­side, where they in­sisted that a ter­ri­fied re­cep­tion­ist open the safe at the front desk.

Find­ing just petty cash, the raiders, all the while shout­ing fu­ri­ously at the young woman, the politi­cian and his driver, took the three cap­tives down a corridor to­wards the of­fice when a child came out of the din­ing room and walked in front of them.

Deputy Roche said he and oth­ers per­suaded the gun­men to leave the young­ster alone and to keep go­ing to­wards the of­fice where they con­fronted more staff, in­clud­ing a man­ager. The gang col­lected phones from their pris­on­ers and made off with the con­tents of the safe. One of the cap­tives, how­ever, had man­aged to con­ceal a mo­bile phone and called gar­daí as the crooks made their get­away.

Bray Deputy Dick Roche as­sists a garda from the crime scene in­ves­ti­ga­tion team at this car.

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