#OTD in 1976 – The ‘Sallins Train Robbery’.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

The Sallins Train Robbery occurred on 31 March 1976 when the Cork to Dublin mail train was robbed near Sallins in Co Kildare. Approximately £200,000 was stolen. Five members of the IRSP: Osgur Breatnach, Nicky Kelly, Brian McNally, Michael Plunkett and John Fitzpatrick were arrested in connection with the robbery.

After the failure of the authorities to produce a “book of evidence” against them, the four were released but were immediately rearrested. During interrogation in Garda Síochána custody, all except Plunkett signed alleged confessions, presenting with extensive bruising and injuries they claimed were inflicted by members of the Gardaí.

While awaiting trial, Fitzpatrick jumped bail and left the country. The trial of McNally, Kelly and Breatnach in the Special Criminal Court became the longest-running trial in Irish criminal history, at 65 days, before it collapsed due to the death of one of the three judges, Judge John O’Connor of the…

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