At 2.00 pm on 7th July, 1980, three men entered the Bank of Ireland in Ballaghadreen, wearing balaclavas and waving guns. Shouting “Everybody down” they netted €35,000. A few miles out of town their get-away car was intercepted by a Garda Patrol-Car from Castlerea which was responding to a call about the robbery. The two vehicles collided on the road. Garda Henry Byrne was shot dead by a hail of gunfire as he sat in the patrol-car. The 3 robbers left their vehicle and two of them were subsequently involved in an exchange of shots with Detective Garda John Morley, who had an Uzi submachine gun. Detective Garda Morley was fatally wounded.
Retired Detective Garda Supt. Tom Connolly, spoke with Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner about the case in the light of Peter Pringle claiming in his book that there was a miscarriage of justice.
To read the Irish Examiner comprehensive article click here.