Republic of Ireland news

Robbers use digger to steal cash machine from bank in Co Monaghan

The scene of the robbery in Ballybay, Co Monaghan. Picture from RTÉ
By Mairead Holland

ROBBERS used a digger to smash a hole in the wall of a bank in Co Monaghan and steal an ATM machine and cash.

The Bank of Ireland on main street in Ballybay was robbed around 3am yesterday morning.

Gardaí said the digger was towed to the scene by a tractor and trailer.

The robbers used a trailer and a large SUV, possibly a Toyota Land Cruiser, to carry the digger away in the direction of Cootehill or Carrickmacross.

The tractor was set on fire at the scene.

Gardaí believe three masked men were involved in the operation.

Bank of Ireland said no one was hurt in yesterday's incident. Bank officials will examine the branch to assess when it can reopen for business.

Officials are also trying to establish how much money was in the ATM machine.

The machine can hold more than €100,000 and had been filled for Christmas week but cash had been taken out by customers over the weekend.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them at Carrickmacross Garda Station.

Yesterday's robbery was the latest ATM theft close to the border.

In March, a forklift truck was used to steal an ATM from a shop in Keady, Co Armagh.

The thieves emptied the machine and made off with the cash.

And three years ago, thieves drove a digger into the wall of a filling station during an overnight ATM robbery on Camlough Road on the outskirts of Newry.

Police believed the digger had been stolen from a nearby building site. It was set on fire after the theft, blocking the road.

There have been other less successful attempts. In 2014, thieves rammed a digger into a cash machine at a supermarket in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone.

The cash machine was not taken and no money was stolen.

Detectives at the time were investigating a possible link to a trailer found on a road which crosses the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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