Tallaght community rallies around takeaway men targeted by armed thugs

By Mary Dennehy

THE community of Tallaght rallied around its army of food delivery drivers this week after it emerged that they are being robbed nightly in a violent, organised operation – with two youths also arrested during pro-active patrols by gardai on Sunday. 

Last week, The Echo revealed how more than 120 delivery drivers from across a number of local takeaways had united and signed a mass petition calling for their safety while working, after Domino’s Pizza alone reported 16 robberies in the Tallaght area in the last four weeks.

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In last week’s report in The Echo, drivers spoke of the nightly robberies, which have seen workers forced to hand over cash after being threatened with hammers, spanners, lead pipes and a gun while delivering food across a number of areas in Tallaght.

Drivers, who have provided gardai with descriptions of some of the culprits, also believe that the robberies are being carried out by the same perpetrators, who are following them into estates by car.

Since drivers went public with their call for support, their customers have rallied around them – with many customers this week offering to walk out to meet drivers on the road.

Gardai have also confirmed to The Echo that during patrols to combat these attacks on delivery men, two youths were arrested in possession of “offensive weapons” on Sunday night, March 12.

A senior Garda source told The Echo: “Gardai were out on pro-active patrols targeting this type of crime on delivery men and were driving around the area on Sunday when they came across two youths who, when searched, were in possession of offensive weapons.

“We can’t say that the two arrested were on their way to rob a delivery driver.

“However, they were picked up by gardai during pro-active patrols in connection with the robberies on delivery men.

“Both youths were arrested and charged for being in possession of offensive weapons.”

The source added: “It’s a very small cohort of people that are involved in these robberies and it was great to see everybody coming together in recent days – it really showed the great community spirit in Tallaght.”

Drivers this week told The Echo that the number of robberies on delivery drivers has decreased in recent days, with workers thanking gardai, Fine Gael councillor Brian Lawlor, and the general public for their support and vigilance.

Driver Jobin George said: “It has been really great, our customers gave us a lot of support and we cannot thank people enough for rallying around us and understanding the problem.

“Lots of customers told us to stay in our cars and they came out to collect the food from us, which was very thoughtful.

“The gardai have also offered us support and there are good lines of communication now open between them, the drivers and the managers of local takeaway businesses.”

He added: “It is going in the right direction and hopefully we can look forward to earning a living without being threatened.”

Anybody who has information or who witnesses a robbery on a delivery driver is encouraged to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.

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