Anyone who confirmed the true alibis of the 40 innocent Irish citizens detained in the 1976 round-up were themselves also detained or arrested. This was an attempt to intimidate people to abandon their alibis. 18 of those arrested were targeted for torture. This is why Brian McNally, later to be charged with the robbery along with Osgur Breatnach and Nicky Kelly, was arrested and tortured. He could confirm that Nicky Kelly had stayed with him and his family in Swords on the night of the robbery, and therefore, could not have been involved.
Around the country, in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Carlow, Cork, Limerick and Wicklow the detention list rose to 40 at one stage, the largest round up since WW2. Meanwhile, the original 18 targeted were isolated and illegally denied solicitors in garda stations across Dublin. During the following days and nights, the 18 were tortured by The Garda Heavy Gang. Their illegal detention was contrary to the Irish Constitution and their treatment amounted to torture, as defined by the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. One detainee was hospitalised while all received medical attention. Successive Irish Governments refuse to hold an impartial public inquiry despite international legal obligations.