Criminal gang try to rob ATM in Kildare by blowing it up

Gardai are now investigating
Gardai are now investigating

A fire at an ATM machine in Celbridge in the early hours of this morning is suspected of being an attempt by a criminal gang to blow it up in the hope of releasing cash from it.

An alarm on the machine at the Ulster Bank on the Main Street of the Kildare town activated at 4.20am and the ATM was found to be damaged and scorched when it was inspected by gardai.

The incident is identical in nature to an attempt to blow up the same machine on December 3 last year at 4.40am.

Weeks earlier, on November 8 2014, a number of men attempted to burst into the ATM but again failed.

Gardai are now investigating if the same gang could be responsible for the latest attack on the cash-laden machine.

No money was removed from the ATM but black burn marks were visible on it around the slot where the cash is usually dispensed.

The plastic section on top of the machine which usually bears the name of the bank was also missing, apparently blown off in the explosion.

Gardai sealed off the scene pending a forensic examination.