03/03/2018 15:29 GMT

Eight Charged After Digger Raids On Supermarkets During Blizzard

Nine people have been arrested.

Eight men have been charged after two supermarkets were looted, apparently with a digger in blizzard conditions.

Pictures from the scene showed a Lidl store in Jobstown, Tallaght, that had partially collapsed due to damage.

The defendants, aged between 24 and 47 years, were due to appear in court on Saturday morning following the raids on two Dublin stores.

PA Wire/PA Images
The Lidl store in Fortunestown Lane, Jobstown, Tallaght, as nine people have been arrested after the supermarket was attacked in Dublin during blizzard conditions

A number of vehicles were also reported stolen.

A ninth man, in his 30s, has been arrested for handling stolen property.

The Press Association reported that unverified social media footage appeared to show a Lidl store being attacked with a digger before the alleged looters entered.

Irish police said the store on Fortunestown Lane in the west of the city had sustained substantial damage, while another store had also been damaged.

The alleged incident came amid some of the worst snow storms to hit Ireland for decades.

Irish Police said in a statement: “Following reports of burglary and theft of vehicles, Garda units deployed in the Tallaght District and nine arrests were made to date.

“Substantial damage was caused to a supermarket on Fortunestown lane and further damage to another premises in Jobstown. All those arrested are currently detained at Dublin Garda Stations.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Eight men have been charged following the incidents

Police urged anyone with information to come forward.

A member of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party, parliamentarian Colm Brophy, said: “I utterly condemn this mindless criminal behaviour that has been carried out in recent hours.

“I fully anticipate that the gardai will pursue the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.”

He added: “I am particularly mindful that these actions have taken place in the midst of a code red weather warning when our emergency services are at full stretch.

“Lidl is a much valued and appreciated employer in our community whose head office is on the Main Road in Tallaght.

“The type of outrageous behaviour we witnessed tonight has no place in our community.”