An 83-year-old great-grandfather has spoken out after being hailed a hero for stopping a robbery at a betting shop in Glanmire, Cork, Ireland.
Denis O’Connor and a staff member at the Bar One Racing bookmakers bravely challenged a group of three masked men who are all believed to be in their late teens or early 20s.
The entire incident, which occurred around 6pm on Saturday evening (September 15) was caught on CCTV footage. One of the raiders held what appeared to be a shotgun while the other two were shown holding hammers.
Terrifying footage as betting shop staff member and 80-year-old grandfather are forced to fight off gunman and two armed men during attempted robbery. ⬇️ Full Story ⬇️https://t.co/pib1XfhNgW
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The three men all ran into the betting stop wearing balaclavas and demanded cash. Two customers appeared shocked and ran while the grandfather and staff member decided to fight back after being pushed and shoved by the men.
One raider was grabbed by the grandfather before he ran out of the store in panic. Another raider was wrestled by a younger staff member after he tried jumping behind the counter. He was eventually pushed against a swivel chair and ran out of the store.
Meanwhile, the great-grandfather chased the third masked man out of the betting shop. It’s believed that the men got into a car and drove off in the direction of Cork city.
In a new interview with Virgin Media News, Denis O’Connor reflected on the incident and stated he didn’t have “much choice” but to get involved but believed the robbers didn’t think the raiders intended to harm anyone.
He said: “I must tell you this now, I don’t think [the robbers] intended to harm anyone.”
Then, speaking about the experience, O’Connor added: “[I feared for my life] a little bit at that time. But then I’d say I got confidence or whatever.”
The great-grandfather originally thought the robbery was “a joke” to begin with but decided to just go for it. He explained: “You can either sit down and do nothing or take a stand. I decided to stand up to these people.”
Despite being hailed as a hero, O’Connor revealed that he wishes the incident never occurred.
Tim Murphy, the shop manager who was on duty at the time, said: “It was unbelievable what Denis did – there is no doubt about it, he is a genuine hero.”
Police are looking into the accident and are treating it “seriously”.