It has emerged that, during the recent bank robbery in Strokestown, two young people were held hostage during the raid – one of whom has special needs.

Roscommon-Longford TD Eugene Murphy raised the issue this week with the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, and called on the Minister to provide more Gardai to rural areas.

The Fianna Fail TD told the Dail that a daring robbery took place at the Bank of Ireland in Strokestown last month, and despite the efforts of local Gardai, the culprits got away.

Deputy Murphy asked the Minister to look into exactly what happened, and to provide more Gardai on the beat in towns such as Roscommon and Strokestown.

Since 2014, 42 Gardai have retired in the Roscommon / Longford division, while a number of rural Garda stations have closed including Ballintubber, Ballygoran, Knockroghery and Tarmonbarry.

Eugene Murphy told Midwest News that he now understands two young people involved in a flag day outside the bank in Strokestown were pulled inside and held hostage during the raid.

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