'Tiger' Kidnap Heightens Security Fears

After the second 'tiger kidnapping' in two weeks, Gardaí and Government ministers are to meet Bank chiefs in order to stem the tide of hostage taking robberys.

The latest incident, which occurred yesterday involved the attempted robbery of a Bank of Ireland branch in Kilkenny.

Gardaí are now investigating the incident, which involved the false imprisonment of well known sports personality and his family.

It is understood that the gang, believed to be from Dublin, targeted former Kilkenny hurler Adrian Ronan, his wife Mary and their three children.

Reports this morning say that one of the gunmen fired a warning shot over Mrs Ronan's head before tying her up.

Adrian Ronan subsequently took them with him to the Bank of Ireland in Kilkenny while Mary Ronan was taken to the weather station on Granges Road.

However it appears she struggled with her abductors who only managed to tape her up after they fired a warning shot. Early reports suggest Mrs Ronan freed herself at around 2.30pm yesterday afternoon and alerted Gardaí.

Members of the Garda response management team were assembled and managed the incident, eventually foiling the robbery early yesterday afternoon.

No injuries occurred during the incident and the robbers were forced to abandon their plan.

Gardaí are seeking the assistance of the public in order to identify those involved in the incident. They are appealing for anyone who was in the area of the Weather Station at Granges Road, Kilkenny and anyone who was in the Parliament Street area of Kilkenny City today to contact them at the incident room in Kilkenny on 056 7775070.

A spokesperson for the Irish Bank Officials' Association said the use of bank staff and their families as hostages was unprecedented and issues of security need to be re-examined.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and senior officers are meeting officials from the banks and other financial institutions tomorrow to discuss the issue.


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