Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern has said he expects the gardaí and security personnel at financial institutions to increase their efforts to prevent bank robberies and kidnappings.

Mr Ahern will meet Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and representatives of banks tomorrow to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, detectives investigating the kidnapping of a bank official's wife and the attempted robbery of €3m from the Bank of Ireland in Kilkenny yesterday have interviewed the couple.

Gardaí believe that former Kilkenny hurler Adrian Ronan, his wife Mary and their three children were targeted by a gang from Dublin.

One of the gunmen fired a warning shot over Mrs Ronan's head before tying her up.

The gang failed in their attempt to steal money.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Irish Bank Officials' Association General Secretary Larry Broderick said the use of bank staff and their families as hostages was unprecedented and issues of security need to be re-examined.

The gang smashed their way into the Ronans' home at around 6.15am yesterday and held the couple at gunpoint while their three children slept.

Mr Ronan subsequently took them with him to the Bank of Ireland in Kilkenny while Mary Ronan was taken to the weather station on Granges Road.

However, it appears she struggled with her abductors, who only managed to tape her up after they fired a warning shot. She freed herself at around 2.30pm yesterday afternoon.

The family is extremely traumatised by their ordeal but detectives said they expected to get descriptions of the gang, their accents and the cars they may have used.

Gardaí also believe the gang may have had Mr Ronan under surveillance for some time.