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Police Free Irish Millionaire's Kidnaped Kin After Gun Battle

November 05, 1987|United Press International

DUBLIN, Ireland — Police stormed a suburban house today and freed a member of one of Ireland's wealthiest families in a gun battle with the abductors who had mutilated two of his fingers, authorities said.

A detective was seriously wounded in the stomach and another policeman was also hit, along with a gang member, police said. One member of the gang was captured, but five escaped in a succession of hijacked cars.

The kidnapers--led by Ireland's most notorious outlaw, known as the "Border Fox"--had cut off parts of two of Dennis O'Grady's fingers and left them in a cardboard box, along with photographs showing that they had been taken from him, in a cathedral Wednesday to press their demand for a $2.5-million ransom.

But as a Roman Catholic priest was driving to a meeting with a representative of the kidnapers to arrange payment, police tailed a suspicious car to the gang's hide-out in suburban Dublin, officers said.

Witnesses said that as police surrounded the home, the kidnapers ran out, opening fire and sending onlookers diving for cover.

O'Grady, 37, is son-in-law of millionaire Dr. Austin Darragh, the chairman of a leading medical research firm and one of Ireland's wealthiest men. He had been kidnaped from his suburban Dublin home 22 days ago.

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