Armed raid nets £15 for terrorists
A major garda hunt was mounted this week in the wake of reports that a terrorist gang on training exercises was responsible for robbing a group of backpacking campers.
And a garda helicopter equipped with heat detection equipment joined ground units to comb a remote wooded area above Powerscourt Waterfall following the bank holiday weekend incident.
The campers were robbed of £15 in cash after being approached by a gang of men wearing combat fatigues and carrying arms.
The backpackers, from Dublin, were confronted by five men in the small hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning, after they had pitched their tent in an isolated area between Crone Weed and Djouce Mountain, known as the Wilderness Trek.
The men, who wore camouflage combat clothing, showed them what purported to be a handgun and a rifle.
The campers offered the gang money, and although they left without taking anything, they returned a short time later and took £15 in cash from the frightened youths.
‘The campers felt intimidated and frightened by what had happened, and reported the matter to the gardai as soon as they made their descent from the woods,’ a garda source said.
Local units from Bray, Shankill, and Enniskerry mounted a series of searches of the Crone Woods area on Sunday and Monday, and were accompanied in the trawl by a helicopter.
Although they uncovered a camp which appeared to have been used by the gang, they found no sign of the men who had been involved in the incident.
Crone Woods and Djouce Mountain have been known to be used in the past for Provisional IRA training exercises.