Five Irish heists which grabbed the headlines
To celebrate the upcoming Paramount movie ‘Plastic’, we’re profiling some famous heists in Irish crime history.
The Northern Bank Robbery
On December 20th 2004, the Northern Bank in Belfast was robbed to the tune of £26.5m. A huge sum of money in any people's language and one which remains as the biggest ever single heist on this island. Both the Irish and British governments laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Provisional IRA who still deny any involvement. Tiger kidnapping was the method used by the perpetrators as they raided the homes of two Northern Bank officials. Following years of investigation, the case remains unsolved and only one man has been charged with money laundering in relation to the theft.
The Russborough House Art Robbery
In 1986 Russborough House had paintings stolen worth £30m. The robbery was orchestrated by Dublin crime boss, Martin Cahill better known as The General and was immortalised in the film of the same name. Most of the paintings were recovered around Britain and Europe after a massive police operation. Cahill was revered as a Robin Hood-type character by the Irish public, but this heist signalled the end of this popularity with the man on the street when it was discovered that he had tried to sell some of the paintings to the UVF, a loyalist paramilitary group.
2009 Bank of Ireland robbery
The largest bank robbery in the history of the state took place on February 27th 2009. Using tiger kidnap tactics, a gang managed to steal a total of 7.6m Euro in cash from the College Green cash centre. There were seven people arrested in connection with the robbery and two of them were subsequently released having successfully challenged the warrants they were arrested on.
Michael Flatley's Rhino Horn Theft
It's not all jewels and money that gets stolen you know. Rhino horn is a valuable source of income to some criminals. When the home of Lord of the Dance himself, Michael Flatley was burgled and rhino horn was the motivation, you can be sure it would grab the headlines. It happened back in January at his home, situated on the river Blackwater, Castlehyde in County Cork. The thieves had the audacity to break in and steal the horn while Flatley was in the house playing computer games with his family. The value of the horn stolen was estimated at around €200,000.
The Brinks-Allied Heist
In 1995 at a Brinks-Allied depot in Clonshaugh £3m worth of cash was stolen in a carefully planned, military-style operation. To this day, the case has never been solved and none of the cash has been recovered. Although ultimately, the robbery was the result of a fairly straightforward ram-raid, the planning and timing of it showed that seriously cunning minds were behind the operation.
Duo Sam & Fordy run a credit card fraud scheme, but when they steal from the wrong man, they find themselves threatened by sadistic gangster. They need to raise £5m and pull off a daring diamond heist to clear their debt.
Plastic stars Ed Speleers, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen, Emma Rigby and it opens in Ireland on April 30th