Minister impressed with how hotel staff managed situation
‘ALL’S WELL that ends well,’ reflected a philospohical Dick Roche, the day after a gang of thugs put him and eight others through a terrifying gunpoint ordeal at the Marriott Hotel on Monday.
‘Keep your f***ing mouth shut,’ the armed men shouted at the minister, as he appealed with them to calm down.
He said that staff at the hotel, particularly a manager named Olive, had handled a very dangerous situation with the greatest of regard for the safety of other people in the hotel.
‘She brought the men down the back-stairs to the security room in order to keep them away from everyone. She was very impressive and although she got a bad shock, she didn’t show it,’ said Minister Roche.
During the incident he said he spoke to the criminals trying to keep them calm and keep matters from escalating to a more dangerous level.
‘I had often wondered how I would react in that kind of situation,’ he said, saying that he had remained ‘strangely calm’, throughout the incident, which lasted about 20 minutes.
He said that he had been mugged in his student days, and badly beaten up, but had not encountered violence since then.
He told the receptionist not to be frightened, that this was a robbery, as the men led him and his driver towards the hotel desk.
The minister said that as the minutes passed, the man with the gun became more and more agitated. ‘This is stupid,’ he said to the men, ‘you’re going to get the money, why terrorise young people going about their business?’ He said that gardaí arrived at the scene very quickly, within moments and that other people in the hotel were completely unaware of what had transpired.
‘I always do,’ he responded with a smile, when asked if he had given his wife Eleanor a big hug when he got home.
A garda from the crime scene investigation team at work at the Druids Glen Marriott Hotel on Monday morning.