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