updated 12/15/2008 12:12:24 PM ET 2008-12-15T17:12:24

An Irish government minister who had just finished his morning swim was caught up in an armed robbery Monday at a golf resort hotel, officials said.

Police said European Affairs Minister Dick Roche and other staff and guests were not injured during the 9:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) raid on the Marriott Hotel & Country Club at Druids Glen, one of Ireland's premier golf resorts in County Wicklow, south of Dublin.

Roche's spokesman, David Grant, said Roche often has morning swims at the hotel, and was walking back to his state-provided car when an armed gang confronted him and his police driver.

"He (Roche) actually had a guy shove a gun into his back," said Grant, who added that Roche, his driver and hotel staff and guests in the lobby were detained at gunpoint in a room. "I think it might have been the safe room," he said.

Police Sgt. Gerry Curley said at least one member of the three-man gang was armed with a sawn-off shotgun, but no shots were fired. He said the gang escaped by car and nobody was arrested.

Curley declined to specify how much money was taken from the hotel's safe, or whether Roche or any other guests were robbed. Grant said he didn't think Roche was personally robbed.

Roche, 61, is the government's lead spokesman on Ireland's future in the European Union — a prominent role given Ireland's referendum decision last year to reject the EU reform treaty. He also has served since 1997 as a Wicklow lawmaker for Fianna Fail, Ireland's largest party, and lives near the hotel.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments