A mechanical digger was used to rip a cash machine from the Bank of Ireland in Graiguenamanagh in an early morning robbery.

According to Gardaí, a substantial amount of money was taken in the raid which took place at the Bank of Ireland in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny at 5.30 am.

A JCB was driven directly at the front of the building causing major structural damage and the ATM was ripped out.

The JCB removed the ATM from the front of the bank and it is believed it was put on a flat green trailer pulled by a blue BMW. The car had a 94D registration and was stolen in Graiguenamanagh. The bank is situated directly opposite the local Garda Station which is not manned at night.

Local resident Thomas Holden describes Graiguenamanagh as a sleepy town and therefore an ideal target for raiders.

Given the circumstances, former postmaster Tony Doyle is happy to be retired.

Gardaí also believe that the raiders also used another getaway car, a blue hatchback Golf with a registration which was stolen in Mooncoin.

Footage of the raid captured by an eyewitness is now being examined by Gardaí.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 June 2009. The reporter is Damien Tiernan.