Northern Ireland

Botched robbery pair jailed

Garda sign

Two Londonderry men who were arrested in a funeral home in Dublin after a botched armed robbery have been jailed at the Special Criminal Court.

The court was told that the would-be robbers crashed the taxi they hijacked into an Irish Army vehicle after the cash box they stole emitted a high pitched noise and red dye.

Charles Anthony Deery, 42, from Derry but with an address at Aughrim Street in Dublin, was jailed for 13 years for the robbery in July, and the false imprisonment of a taxi driver.

Dermot McFadden, 39, of Kildrum Gardens in Creggan, was sentenced to 10 years for the same offences.

The court was told that three men had produced a gun and forced the taxi driver into the boot of the car before driving to the Park Shopping Centre at Prussia Street.

One of the men told the taxi driver that they were members of the IRA and were taking the taxi for "an operation."

McFadden, who was wearing glasses, a wig and a hat, demanded a cash box from a security guard who was delivering cash to a post office.

The taxi then drove down Prussia Street before it crashed into an Irish Army vehicle.

The court was also told that the robbers struggled to drive the taxi, which was an automatic, and had to get instructions from the taxi driver who was locked in the boot.

The men were captured on CCTV fleeing from the scene.

One of them escaped into Smithfield, while McFadden and Deery fled into Burke's Funeral Home.

The two men were arrested in a room at the back of the funeral home where the police recovered the gun and disguises.

The cash box and all of the money, an estimated €30,000, was recovered.

Previous convictions

A detective told the court that Deery had four previous convictions in Northern Ireland.

They included convictions in 1994 for conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to cause an explosion and possession of explosives for which he received a 20 years prison sentence.

McFadden had 14 previous convictions in Northern Ireland, ranging from road traffic offences to theft.