Thursday 29 September 2016

‘It was the longest one minute and twenty seconds I was ever standing’

Barman speaks of savage armed attack by three men

John Brennan

Published 06/01/2016 | 14:34

John Ryan views CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star
John Ryan views CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star

A BARMAN who fought off three armed men after they tried to gain access to the bar he was working in has spoken of his ordeal.

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John Ryan (58) was set upon by three armed and masked men as he was letting a taxi driver into the Kingswood Lodge pub in Tallaght in the early hours of Sunday morning.

CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star
CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star

The three men savagely beat Mr Ryan leaving him requiring 14 stitches and a massive gash under his left eye after being hit with a barrage of punches and a weapon.

“That was the longest one minute and twenty seconds I was ever standing up on my feet fighting.

“The two smaller fellas were saying to the bigger fella to put me down, he wasn’t able to put me down,” Mr Ryan said.

“I was trying to protect the pub – I wasn’t going to let them in that handy, there was only kids inside sweeping up the floor.

CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star
CCTV images of the attack. Photo: Courtesy of The Star

“God knows what they would have done to a 17 and an 18 year old cleaning the floors, that’s why I was so determined,” he said.

Mr Ryan will now require surgery on his eye socket after the vicious attack left him hospitalised.

As a former prison officer who worked in Mountjoy prison for 31 years before retiring he told Liveline, “I have seen violence in my career but never as strong as that…

“I never came across an attack like that – such a vicious attack”.

Mr Ryan now work part-time in the bar and is also a hurling referee in his spare time.

The three raiders, who were all wearing balaclavas had initially threatened a taxi driver who had arrived to pick up a worker, and stood behind him at gunpoint at the pub entrance.

They then jumped on Mr Ryan as he opened the shutters for the frightened taxi driver.

“The first fella went to punch me so my instinct was to punch him back – then I got struck on the face with something hard and I didn’t know what it was – but I kept fighting,” he added.

“I kept yelling at them, get out, get out the f**k,” he added.

Mr Ryan was not aware any of the raiders had been armed until after the attack – two of the attacks appeared to have firearms.

Despite the terrifying ordeal, the former prison officer is determined to catch the attackers.

“I want them caught, there’s no need to do that to any one man… they were cowards,” he said.

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