Armed raid nets £15 for ter­ror­ists

June 1998

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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