£10 million worth of paintings have been taken from Russborough house. The collection is considered to be the most important personal collection in the world. Despite sophisticated security in place at the house, 17 paintings have been stolen.
This is the second major theft from Russborough House despite increased security after the Dugdale robbery 12 years earlier. People are beginning to ask 'How could lightning strike twice?'. Gardaí called at the house during the night in response to a security alarm, but left as all seemed well.
Reporter David Davin Power speaks to Superintendent Frank Hanlon of the Garda Press Office to find out what went wrong. SuperintendentHanlon explains that the house was thoroughly checked when the alarm was raised. However he acknowledges that security did break down somewhere along the way resulting in the loss of the seventeen paintings.
Garda investigations continue but it appears that the thieves got in through a ground floor window at the back of the house. Tracks were found in the field to the rear of the house suggesting that there were two vehicles involved in the robbery. As they try to piece together what happened Supt Hanlon appeals for assistance from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the vicinity of the house.
An RTÉ News report by David Davin Power broadcast on 21 May 1986.
Just hours after the robbery was reported, seven of the least valuable paintings were discovered dumped in a field next to Poulaphouca lakeside. The discovery was made by three Dublin fishermen, who alerted the Gardaí. Forensic tests are now being carried out in the area. The seven paintings were identified by experts from Russborough House.
Caroline Erskine reports for RTÉ News on 21 May 1986.