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Donegal gardaí praised as bank robbers jailed

The scene at the Northern Bank, Kesh after the robbery.

The scene at the Northern Bank, Kesh after the robbery.

Gardaí in Donegal have come in for praise after helping nab four men who robbed the Northern Bank in Kesh in February 2009.

The gang, who are all from Belfast, recently appeared at Derry Crown Court, where they were sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison.

While making their getaway from the heist, in which a £5,400 and €1,200 was taken, they rammed a garda car, injuring two officers.

They used a second stolen car to continue their flight across the border into Donegal.

Two of the gang were arrested the next night when their car crashed as they tried to flee gardaí. A sum of cash was recovered.

Gardaí then arrested the other two men at the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town, where all four had stayed on the night of the robbery, and recovered more cash.

Each of the men, an earlier court hearing was told, had around one quarter of the amount stolen in his possession at the time of the arrests.

Footwear was seized and the car was examined. Footprints were linked to prints found on the counter of the Northern Bank and documents linking them to the crime were also found in the car.

The PSNI had filed the necessary documentation to allow gardaí make the seizures and arrests.

At Derry Crown Court Seán Moran (38) of Monagh Drive, Belfast was sentenced to 10 years and six months while Seán McKay (26) of Downfine, Belfast was sentenced to eight years and six months. Both men had pleaded guilty to the robbery and to the aggravated taking of two cars.

Gavin Dempster (30), also of Monagh Driver was jailed for six years and six months. He had pleaded guilty to the robbery, the aggravated taking of the two cars, dangerous driving and damaging a police car.

At the sentencing hearing, Detective Sergeant John McConnell, said: “There was a great deal of cross-Border co-operation in this investigation. I would like to thank the officers from An Garda Síochaná who were involved for their continued support.”

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