PICS: Images of armed gang as they target kids venue
Shocked families with children watched-on as armed raiders who targeted a popular kids play centre left one of the staff with a gaping hand wound after attacking him with a knife.
Two masked raiders burst into Tallaght Adventure World in the Whitestown Business Park just before closing time at 6pm yesterday evening.
One of them was armed with a long-bladed knife while the second man had a metal pole.
A third man waited outside in a blue Ford Fiesta.
Owner and local Councillor Dermot Richardson described the drama as it unfolded.
“I was having a coffee with a customer when I heard my son shouting ‘dad, dad, quick, quick’ and when I turned around I could see the two raiders running in,” he told Independent.ie.
“They were wearing balaclavas and the guy with the knife jumped the counter and ran to the office where my nephew Robbie Doyle, who is the manager, was counting the day’s takings.
“I ran down towards the kitchens and I was throwing cups and things at them to try and keep them back, but the knife man got into the office and the other one was standing at the door swinging the pole around.
“The guy in the office was shouting and threatening Robbie, and then went to stab him in the head, but Robbie managed to protect himself and grabbed the knife. The raider then pulled it from his hand leaving Robbie with a gaping wound.
“He has to have surgery this morning on the tendons and muscles in his hand and fingers. It’s a serious injury,” Mr Richardson explained.
The raiders then fled empty-handed and escaped in the Ford Fiesta which was later found burned out in the nearby Killinarden estate.
“There were families and children here at the time. It was very frightening. My biggest concern is for my customers and staff,” said Mr Richardson.
“This is a minority of people who do this kind of thing, and there are plenty of good people in Tallaght, but this will give the area a bad name again, it's such a shame.
“They were in the building for less than a minute, but it was terrifying. I’ve been in business for 11 years and this is very hard to take.
“I have to praise the Gardai as well but I think they are under-resourced. There was nobody available to process the scene of the crime last night so a garda had to wait at the premises for the night until it could be done today. The Gardai need more resources in my opinion,” he added.
Gardai were today carrying out a forensic examination of the scene and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
CCTV recordings will also be central to the investigation.
“I think theses guys will be caught, and if anyone has any information I would appeal for them to come to me or the Gardai with it,” said Mr Richardson.