Belfast Telegraph

Armed Garda haul suspect from Belfast-bound train

By Jim McDowell

Guns were drawn during a dramatic security incident at Dublin's Connolly Station yesterday.

A male suspect was bundled off the 3.20pm Dublin to Belfast Enterprise train at gunpoint amid dramatic scenes.

Startled Belfast-bound passengers watched as he was manhandled and forced face-down on the number two platform before being arrested.

One rail worker who had been close as the incident unfolded said: "At one point it was almost Gunfight at the OK Corral."

Eyewitnesses said the suspect had been on the train and "was hauled off at gunpoint".

A black rucksack-type bag the man had been carrying was taken from him and thrown several metres to the side.

He was ordered not to move and was frisked before being dragged away.

But that only occurred after armed Garda, with guns drawn, rushed to the scene.

As startled passengers including families with young children watched, rail security staff, including an armed civilian security guard wearing a bulletproof vest, also raced along the platform.

The guard shouted at passengers peering out of doors to "stay inside" the carriages.

Initially some passengers had assumed the man lying face down on the station had merely been taken ill and was being given medical attention.

However, one eyewitness told them: "They aren't working on him. They're sitting on him."

The incident lasted for more than 20 minutes and delayed the cross-border train for a quarter-of-an-hour.

As the delayed locomotive left the station the duty manager made an announcement apologising to passengers.

He said: "Unfortunately there was an incident on board the train. The Garda Siochana were involved. The situation has been resolved."

However, it became clear the whole train had been placed in lockdown.

The manager had to be called to unlock the buffet car and the toilets as passengers queued to get into them even after the Enterprise had pulled out of the station.

A source involved in the incident later said the man was being watched before the incident unfolded.

Translink said: "A person on the 15.20 Enterprise train was arrested by gardai before the train departed Connolly Station in Dublin."

The incident comes only days after armed Garda staged an anti-terrorism exercise on the streets of Dublin.

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