‘Tiger kidnapping’ accused was identified in line-up

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Garryowen post office: The kidnappers had demanded �500,000 be handed over or the post mistress' son, Stephen Cusack, would be killed. He managed to escape from a derelict farmhouse hours later
A MAN accused of being involved in a three-man operation to carry out a tiger kidnapping was identified in a garda line-up.

A MAN accused of being involved in a three-man operation to carry out a tiger kidnapping was identified in a garda line-up.

On the seventh day of the trial, now running into its third week, Limerick Circuit Court yesterday heard that the accused Zachary Coughlan Ryan was picked out of a garda line-up by one of the alleged victims nine days after the kidnapping.

The 34-year-old accused, of Brennan’s Row, Cathedral Place, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of false imprisonment at a house in Caislean na hAbhainn, Castletroy, on August 19 and 20, 2012.

The court heard that up to €500,000 was allegedly demanded by the kidnappers, but no money exchanged hands. One of the victims is the son of the postmistress in Garryowen, Carol Cusack, but he managed to escape from a derelict farmhouse, climbing over a gate with his arms tied behind his back.

The accused was one of nine people lined up in the parade room of Henry Street garda station, and while holding an A4 sheet reading ‘Number 6’ he was identified as one of the kidnappers by victim Stephen Cusack on August 29, after being held in garda custody for five days.

The court heard that the accused was the only man with blond hair in the line-up, but no record of this was kept in the garda files.

Mr Cusack has granted the defence access to his Facebook page to determine his movements on the night of the alleged kidnapping. He claims he saw the accused’s face when he removed a scarf tied around his face. The trial is expected to continue for two days this week, and possibly into next week before the jury retires to consider their verdict.