independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Shopkeeper takes on gunmen

The Sandpit store where owner Malachy Mcgrane took on two masked raiders on Monday evening.

HAVE-A-G0 shop owner, Malachy Mcgrane took on two masked men who threatened to kill him during a robbery at his Excel store in Sandpit on Monday night.

During a struggle, the 49-yearold businessman fell on one of the thugs, narrowly avoiding being stabbed with the butcher's knife he was brandishing.

'Now in hindsight, I know I am lucky to be alive. I could have been killed when I fell on top of him or when they were jabbing the knife, which was between six and eight inches long, at me.'

The shop owner's drama started at 8.15 p.m. on Easter Monday just before he locked up the rural convenience store.

'I was in the back store for about 30 seconds, they came in and cornered me against the wall.'

The thugs who wore homemade balaclavas were shouting: 'Open the till' and threatening Malachy, who also owns a shop on the Beamore Road.

'I fought back, even though I only had a piece of cardboard in my hand. It's a natural reaction.'

The pair ran off when Malachy started to struggle and he ran after them although he lost them before they got to their getaway car which was parked down a side road. He didn't see the car or get a note of the registration plates.

'I think I frightened them more than they frightened me when I started to fight back,' he said. 'And then I hightailed it after them, although they were younger and fitter and got away from me.'

Both men had their faces and heads covered and were between 5ft 4' and 5ft 9' in height. Neither of them had local accents.

Malachy Mcgrane is full of praise for the gardaí who were on the scene within seven minutes of the incident happening.

This is not the first time that there has been an attempted robbery at the Sandpit shop which he opened in 2004. His convenience store on the Beamore Road has also been robbed a number of times over the years. He now plans to install even more security equipment at both premises.

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