Terror raid ‘not a local job’ - Gardai

GARDAI investigating last week’s botched raid on Prosperous post office do not believe that there was a local involvement.

GARDAI investigating last week’s botched raid on Prosperous post office do not believe that there was a local involvement.

The early morning drama began shortly after 1am on Friday last (April 22) when a post office employee was taken to the An Post office at Anne Street after a group of four men broke into her home. Initial reports suggested that the home of post mistress was targeted.

However the Leader understands that the gang, wearing balaclavas and wielding crowbars and a sledge hammer, broke into the home of employee Anne Ennis at Ballinafagh, at an isolated location about two miles from the village, along the route to Donadea Forest.

The postmistress, Mary Armstrong, lives much closer to the post office.

Ms. Ennis, understood to be An Post employee of some 30 years’ standing, was in the house with her mother and sister, and was forcibly taken by would-be raiders in a car to the small An Post building. The three women ranged in age from their mid-40sto mid-70s.

On arriving there it was not possible for the men to get access to any money due to the security procedures and systems that were in place. They returned to the house with Ms. Ennis where she was put back into the bedroom with the two other women. The culprits then fled the scene and the alarm was raised a short time later by one of the females who managed to escape.

No-one was physically injured.

A garda source told the Leader that the fact that the raiders went to Ms. Ennis’ home rather than Ms. Dempsey’s suggested that there was no local input. The source also pointed out the raiders were initially unsure which of the three women worked in the post office after smashing their way into their home.

The ordeal lasted about an hour and a half and anyone who may have seen activity from 1am to 2.30am between the house in Ballinafagh and the post office itself in Prosperous is asked to contact gardaí at Naas on 045 884300. They are also appealing for information on any suspicious activityin the area in the week before the raid.

“In particular we want to hear from anybody who noticed a saloon-type car parked outside the post office around the time the attempted robbery was underway,” a spokesman added.

The also want to hear from a motorist who unknowingly drove behind the raiders as they brought back to Ms. Ennis back home. This vehicle was behind their car as it headed towards Staplestown between 2.15am and 2.30am and when the raiders noticed it, they turned off the Propserous-Staplestown Road to “lose” the vehicle before returning to the route.

The gardai also believe there is no link between the raid and a robbery which took place last June at the post office. Two men in their mid-20s were detained in relation to that incident during which a sledge hammer and a knife were used. during that incident.