An appeal has been made to the public for information relating to the kidnapping of a postmistress and her husband, and the robbery of a post office in Oldcastle, Co Meath.

Gardaí from several stations in Meath, Cavan and Dublin are working together on the investigation, which they said is at an advanced stage.

They are seeking information relating to four locations in Meath, Cavan and Dublin.

A gang of armed men forced their way into the home of the postmistress in Virginia, Co Cavan at around 10pm last night.

The couple aged in their early 60s were held hostage overnight.

The gang took the postmistress's husband away early in the morning and instructed her to go to her post office in Oldcastle, where she was to take what cash she could.

She was ordered to bring this to a pre-arranged location on the Kentstown Road outside Navan.

When the gang had picked up the money, they then left her husband in a field at Rathbeale Road in Swords, Co Dublin.

The couple are deeply traumatised by their ordeal.

The postmistress' husband was brought to hospital immediately after the incident, but has since been discharged.

Gardaí said the gang escaped with around €20,000.

They are looking for any information relating to suspicious activity at the couple's Virginia home from 7pm last night until 8am this morning.

Detectives would also like to hear from anyone who saw anything unusual at the Oldcastle post office, at the Rathbeale Road area of Swords, between 9am and 10am, and around the Kentstown Road in Navan.

Gardaí are seeking assistance tracing a white Peugeot van with an orange light on top and a 00 DL registration.

This van belonged to the post-mistress husband and the gang made off in it.

Gardaí are also looking to trace a dark-coloured car that was in the Dean Hill area between 9am and 9.45am.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kells Garda Station on 0469280820.