A stock image of two Irish prison vans. Alamy Stock Photo
Prison van attack

Garda appeal in prison van ramming incident as gang flees in Northern-registered vehicle

The prison van was returning from court to a jail with prisoners when it was attacked.

LAST UPDATE | Jun 16th 2022, 1:18 PM

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED an appeal for witnesses as they hunt the gang who rammed a prison van in Monaghan – investigators now believe the attackers were a gang from Northern Ireland.

A garda spokesperson has said the gang burned out a gold coloured BMW X5 after the unsuccessful ramming attempt and fled from the scene in a black or grey northern registered Audi A4. 

As revealed by The Journal last night the prison van was driving on the N2 near Clontibret, Co Monaghan when it was attacked yesterday evening at 6.45pm. 

Sources believe the ramming was a deliberate attempt to free a prisoner who was on board the van at the time. It was unsuccessful and no injuries were reported. 

Sources have also said that the occupants of the BMW X5 were understood to be masked at the time of the collision. 

Investigators are following one theory that an organised crime group from South Armagh were involved in the incident. 

A garda spokesperson confirmed that the vehicle used in the ramming was stolen in a burglary in the Ashbourne area of Co Meath on 15 May last. 

“The correct registration of the BMW X5 is 04D77272. At the time of this hit and run collision the BMW was bearing false registration plates 06D520.

“An incident room has been established at Monaghan Garda Station.
Gardaí are appealing for any persons with any information on this incident to provide this information to the investigation team,” the spokesperson said. 

Garda investigators are appealing to anyone with dashcam footage or other camera footage to contact them immediately. 

They also want to speak to anyone who was travelling on the N2 in the vicinity of Kilcrow, Clontibret, Co. Monaghan between 5.30pm and 7pm yesterday evening.

The gardaí have also appealed for people in Monaghan town centre between 9am and 7pm yesterday and who may have seen the gold BMW X5 registration 06D520, or a grey/black Audi A4 with Northern Ireland registration plates in the area. 

The detectives said they are looking for information on what happened to the gold BMW X5 between the burglary in Ashbourne on 15 May 2022 and when it was used in the ramming. 

The spokesperson said that it was either bearing the real registration 04D77272 or the false registration 06D520.

They need to find out where it was parked or stored during that period and if the BMW X5 was refuelled during that period.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Monaghan Garda Station on 047 77200 the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.